Afghanistan March 2, 2009

Afghanistan gear up for 2010 South Asian Games

Tony Munro

Tony Munro

Regardless of what happens at next month's World Cup Qualifiers (WCQs), Afghanistan will play against at least of two of Asia's Test nations in 2010, when cricket makes its debut the South Asian Games next year in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The matches, to be played according to the Twenty20 format, will be contested by under-21 teams from Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Asian Cricket Council chief executive, Syed Ashraful Huq, said the Twenty20 format would surely help "the developing countries put up a good show". "Twenty20 is a great leveller and should Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives and Nepal come up against the ODI countries, the matches should be quite competitive," Huq said.

Nepal have beaten Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa in Under-19 World Cups.

Cricket will also debut at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China from November 11-27, 2010 and will be played in the Twenty20 format as well. Asia's non-Test countries will contest the qualifying event for that tournament, the ACC Twenty20 Cup 2009, in the United Arab Emirates from November 4-13, 2009.