Pakistan have agreed to host Afghanistan for a limited-overs series that is likely to be scheduled in July after a six-member delegation from the non-Test playing nation met the country’s cricket board.
The series, between Pakistan ‘A’ and the Afghanistan national team, was approved by the board chairman Ijaz Butt after a meeting in Lahore and would be the first to feature an international team playing in the country since the attack on the Sri Lankan team in March 2009.
Afghanistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Naseemullah Danish said it was a welcome gesture by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and would help his country raise their game at the international stage.
“Afghanistan always wanted to play Pakistan,” said Danish. “This is the only way to raise our standard.
‘ICC should reconsider’
Meanwhile, the CEO was critical of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to reduce the number of teams for the next World Cup and hoped the body would change its mind.
“The World Cup has always been a dream for countries like Afghanistan,” said Danish. “There will be no charm for countries like us if we don’t get to compete. The ICC should reconsider its decision since we have the potential to do well and the standard of our team is improving.”
Afghanistan did not feature in the 2011 World Cup and with the ICC deciding to slash the number of teams, the minnows may not get a chance to compete again.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2011.
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