The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Afghan Atalan having busy schedule before participating T20I CWC in June

Afghanistan cricket has made rapid strides in international cricket since making their maiden appearance in the ICC event by beating even top teams in international matches. For the past several years, Afghan cricket players have been playing in top premier leagues in which they have considerable achievements. In an exclusive interview with The Kabul Times correspondent, Sayed Naseem Sadaat, the Spokesperson and Public Relations Senior Officer of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), said that Afghanistan has had considerable achievements in cricket in the past one year. “Last year, the Afghan Atalans with collecting four victories in the nine outings in the 2023 edition in India, beating former champions England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka besides the Netherlands in what was a watershed moment for Afghan cricket,” Sadaat said. He further said that the T20 World Cup would be held in the US and West Indies during the current year in June, adding that Afghan cricketers are, therefore, had a busy sched- ule for the international games since the beginning of 2024. According to the ACBspokesperson, the Afghan cricketers did start the series with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the series were played under the mutual cooperation agreement based on which Afghans will play a series of three matches with the UAE on an annual basis. He further said that Afghan cricketers then played three T20I matches with India, in which the Afghan players performed well, adding that they had a series with Sri Lanka in three formats as Sri Lanka has emerged victorious in all three formats in the series. Sadaat further said that the current series were underway with Ireland, beating them 2-0 in the ODI series after a loss in a oneoff test, and the T20I series to take place from March 15-18. Pointing to existing cricket grounds, academies and future plans, the ACB spokesperson said that there were two cricket academies and one ground in Kabul, two grounds in Nangarhar, one in Kunar, one in Khost and one in Paktia, while grounds were going to be constructed in Laghman and Logar. He also said that there were also cricket grounds in Kandahar, Helmand and Zabul, where domestic cricket tournaments were held. The above-mentioned grounds almost each has an academy along with some other provinces with academies only. The construction works continue to other parts of the country where required. Answering a question whether Afghanistan would host any international cricket matches in the future or not, Sayed Naseem Sadaat said that for the time being, the cricket ground in Kabul was not ready for international matches, but the ACB was planning to construct an international cricket ground in Alokhil area and construction work on the ground would be completed in five years. Sadaat by pointing to the coming match series planned for this year said that Afghanistan would enter a range of series with Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Australia. According to the ACB spokesperson, in the ninth edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the West Indies and the USA from 1 to 29 June 2024, Afghanistan will play with New Zealand, the West Indies, Uganda and Papua New Guinea. Pointing to the current series with Ireland and news about the possible participation of Rashid Khan, Sayed Naseem Sadaat said that Rashid Khan has recovered from injury and was expected to play in the upcoming three-match T20I series against Ireland starting this Friday in Sharjah. Ziarmal Hotak

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.