Afghanistan cricket looking to host ODI matches in India

Afghanistan-cricket-team-1The Afghanistan National Cricket Team is looking to host more One Day International (ODI) matches in its home ground in India.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) officials are hope to schedule bilateral One-Day Internationals in India in a bid to arrange more fixtures against the full members.

With the September 2017 cut-off fast approaching, Afghanistan need to play more ODIs to further their chances in order to qualify for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, according to cricketworld.com

The chief executive of ACB, Shafiq Stanikzai, told ESPNcricinfo that the board has sent a proposal to the Board of
Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to host bilateral fixtures in the country against the teams visiting India on an
annual basis.

“If we sign the MOU which we sent to India, potentially Afghanistan Cricket Board will be in a better position than
where we are right now, scheduling ODIs with India and scheduling ODIs with teams travelling to India on an annual basis,” Stanikzai said.

“But still, it will be bilateral ties. If a travelling team to India wants to play us in India, it is totally up to them.”

In a way, this arrangement will be similar to Ireland, who frequently play ODIs against the full member teams visiting England.

Citing Ireland’s geographical advantage, Stanikzai revealed that it has become a challenge for Afghanistan to arrange
games with the full members since their induction into the Future Tours Program.

“Since induction into the FTP, a larger challenge arose for Afghanistan,” Stanikzai said. “A is arranging fixtures with
Full Members and B is funding it and finding funds to accommodate your needs.”

“The expectation of the Afghanistan people has grown immensely,” Stanikzai said, adding that “Afghanistan Cricket Board
is under tremendous amount of pressure by not having fixtures with Full Members.”

“Comparatively, Ireland has obtained 14 (11) fixtures with Full Members,” he said. “The advantage Ireland has is
geographical and teams travelling to England getting quality cricket against Ireland … but Afghanistan is a totally
different story… For us, being in the FTP, yeah the window has opened but the challenges are much greater.”

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority earlier in December last year in a bid to help Afghanistan cricket with a home ground in India.

The MoU was signed by BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur and IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla to allow the Afghanistan cricket use the Great Noida cricket stadium as their home ground and play matches. -KP

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