Afghanistan news April 30, 2011

Afghanistan to play series against Pakistan A

ESPNcricinfo staff

Afghanistan will play three 50-over matches against Pakistan A this summer, and have invited Pakistan A to come to Afghanistan and play the inaugural match at the international stadium in Nangarhar. Afghanistan's players will also be taking part in a domestic competition in Peshawar. The 50-over games against Pakistan A will be played in Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi.

"Afghanistan will send its national team to Pakistan in July and play the Pakistan A team, and hopefully this will benefit our team," Naseem Ullah Danish, chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, told AFP. "We have also invited the Pakistan A team to Afghanistan for the inaugural match in Nangarhar where we have almost completed an international stadium."

There has not been any international cricket played in Pakistan since the Lahore attacks on Sri Lanka's cricketers and support staff. Danish, however, said Afghanistan had no concerns about security. "Security is not an issue and by playing in Pakistan we want to send out a positive message to the world and hope that teams come to Pakistan and play here."

Afghanistan played Pakistan in the Asian Games in China in November last year, and pulled off an upset, albeit against a second-string Pakistan side.

Cricket relations between the two countries are strengthening after a six-member delegation from the Afghanistan Cricket Board, including Danish, met PCB chairman Ijaz Butt on Friday. Butt pledged that Pakistan would provide any support needed to develop Afghanistan cricket and appointed Amir Nawab as a coordinator for Afghanistan.