Asian Cricket Council news

Asian Cricket Council pushes for Afghanistan promotion

Umar Farooq

September 26, 2012

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Afghanistan's players celebrate their qualification for the ICC World Twenty20, Afghanistan v Namibia, ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, Dubai, March 22, 2012
ACC chief: "Afghanistan has been the strongest side among the Affiliate members, so we are backing them for the promotion." © Getty Images
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The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has decided to nominate Afghanistan, which currently holds Affiliate status, for Associate membership with the ICC. The ACC also confirmed that it had received and will work on applications from Tajikistan, Chinese Taipei and Cambodia regarding affiliation with the Asian and global governing bodies.

The ACC development committee, headed by PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, had met in Islamabad on Monday to confer on various agendas for the calendar year 2013. The committee also approved a budget of US$6.1m for the development of the 18 non-Test playing Asian nations, and decided that the four Asian Test nations will continue to aid the development of the others by inviting them to their national academies.

"Perhaps our most significant decision [taken at the meeting] has been to substantiate the claim of Afghanistan to be an Associate member of the ICC," ACC chief executive, Ashraf-ul-Haq said in Lahore on Tuesday. "Afghanistan has been the strongest side among the Affiliate members, so we are backing them for the promotion."

The ACC has already informed the ICC of their support for Afghanistan, but the request will be looked into only in June 2013, at the ICC's annual conference. "The applications are in order and we are hoping that at the next ICC annual meeting Afghanistan will be given the status they deserve," Haq said.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board had sanctioned an organisational review earlier this year, in a bid to provide better leadership and find qualified staff to run cricket administration in the war-torn country in the long run, and help develop their domestic cricket infrastructure, thus working towards the outstanding playing-standards criteria required for promotion. On the field, the team has continued to impress, finishing second only to Ireland to qualify - for the second eition running - for the ongoing World Twenty20, where they stretched India in a group-stage match. Vanuatu was the last country elevated to Associate membership of the ICC in 2009.

Haq said that while several Asian countries were keen on ACC membership, they would only be processing the applications of Tajikistan, Chinese Taipei and Cambodia. The development of Oman, he said, is high on the agenda.

"We want cricket to be played everywhere," he said. "We [the ACC] are here for the minnows, and are working to promote them. While Afghanistan have reached such heights, Oman will be next in line, as they have got all the facilities there.

"I am also impressed with the development work in China and I'm hoping in the next ten years they will start playing a high level of cricket. I am not sure if they will be a Test nation by then, but surely they are somewhere near playing top-level cricket. Apart from the cricketing aspect, Chiana is a power-house of commercial values - if they come up, the value [of the game] would have climbed by 30 to 40%."

China had showed interest in staging the 2012 Asia Cup in Guangzhou, the venue that hosted the first-ever Asian Games cricket tournament in November, though it was Bangladesh who eventually hosted the event earlier this year. According to Haq, China is a potential venue for cricket, but holding the men's Asia Cup there is not possible due to the lack of floodlights in the stadium.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by expert22 on (October 1, 2012, 19:55 GMT)

cricket is one of those sport which is least competitive globally that's because there are only ten members which has a guarantee place no matter what. finansically it is good because you do not want australia and india to be out ( theoretically). for the sick of the game please make it like football. otherwise the game will not spread out it is going to shrink surely.

Posted by ShahwaliMM on (September 27, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

How did i become crckt fun? I lived in Pakistan & became the fun of crckt in 1992 when Pakistan won the world cup it was an amazing moment when seeing world cup cricket & my interest to this exciting game gradually increased. After a decade I lost my interest to cricket bcause of same teams & same games. Crckt is being limited to the number of teams. No one is burn complete. We learn & get experience day by day. New teams like Afghanistan & Ireland are better teams at the time which other full members started the game. ICC should encourage new teams to enter the cricket world to bring excitement & entertainment. They will learn & grow. We believe in Afghan team talent. I as Afghan not interested to watch Afghan team go back and wait for the associate level and play with affiliate teams because the result would be the same, Afghans will loose their merit & ICC will loose a new face in Cricket world. ICC will never ever find such team to come from affiliate membrs and beat full member.

Posted by Dashgar on (September 27, 2012, 5:26 GMT)

should be the easiest decision in the world to give them associate status. They should have had it the moment they got ODI status.

Posted by bluefunk on (September 27, 2012, 3:12 GMT)

this is great news. the afghans deserve this. like ed smith i think wrote in his column the other day, they have the two things needed most to do well in international cricket - quick bowlers, and fearlessness. go afghanistan!

Posted by   on (September 27, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

i think first step for the development of afghan cricket is that it should b included in the asia cup cricket tournaments and i think it is he mistake to deny them from the last two asia cups coz they had gain the temporary one day status before .................

Posted by splites on (September 27, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

For a team that has recently sprung to the limelight, the Afghans have done very well. What continues to amaze me is the dedication and competitive spirit with which they play their game. On a good day they will give the Full Member teams a run for their money. Test status is a bit hasty for them at this time, but Associate status all the way!!!

Posted by AryaanKabuly on (September 27, 2012, 1:59 GMT)

I would like to thank ESPNCRICINFO for your best cricket news delivery media. Yes surely I want to see Afghanistan getting Associate membership. They have very improved team since their Stb.. They have got talent and most importantly passion for the game. The last time I watched cricket game was 1999 world cup after that I lost my interest in cricket. Time has changed we want more teams like Afghanistan to play. Every time i see afghans playing I get very excited and happy I am sure their are enough people who love to see Afghanistan playing.

Posted by Meety on (September 26, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

@siddharth1982 on (September 26 2012, 13:24 PM GMT) - this is not entirely true. In the last 10yrs, the ICC have done lots to grow cricket around the world. Afghanistan would not be where they are today (even with the talent they have), if it wasn't for the pathways (WCL) that currently exist. The only thing the ICC is lacking (IMO), is a set criteria to gain Test status. Bear in mind Afghanistan is the first country to EVER gain ODI status whilst being an Affiliate. This is an example of how fast Afghanistan has progressed, & it is hard for big sporting organisations to adjust, (hence another year before the vote to give Afghanistan Associate status).

Posted by Htc-Android on (September 26, 2012, 23:09 GMT)

i dont agree with the point of giving test status to afghan. if they get the test status where will they play their home games? but they do deserve to play more odis though. may be give them 1 odi when teams tour uae to play aginst pakistan. also pak and Bang should play couple of odis every year. they should also be included in the next asia cup.

Posted by   on (September 26, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

@Bengeorge-mgr810qa, Afghanistan the team (which gives Saeed Ajmal (best bowler in world) a reverse sweep six, gives Zaheer khan a couple of sixes and fours, set Austarlia a target of over 200, give Finn a couple of sixes and fours, setting a target of 209 in T20 to Sirlanka A) may fix the probability theory, Englands lowest T20 is 80 so is Afghanistan's, I am not comparing Afghanistan with England but it is about the technique they use, they are grown up with hitting sixes because they have played all their career with Tennis ball and each ball should be tried for six when playing Tennis ball, but the up comming generation like U19 are playing they way cricket is played. if you think we should wait until the cricket grounds, Academies are built in Afghanistan and they play will then they will be given the status, CRICKET WILL ALREADY DIE IN AFGHANISTAN AS IT IS DIYING IN SOME OTHER AFFLIATE COUNTRIES.

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