Despite the ongoing political crisis in Afghanistan, their upcoming three-match ODI series against Pakistan, which is slated to kick-off on September 3 in Sri Lanka, is on schedule, the Afghan Cricket Board (ACB) Chief has confirmed.
“Cricket is doing very well. We are going to the office of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB). The cricket team is preparing for the Pakistan series in Sri Lanka. It is confirmed. We are committed to sending a team to Sri Lanka as soon as possible,” ACB CEO Hamid Shinwari was quoted as saying to espncricinfo.com.
“There is transition going on here in Afghanistan hence there is a vacuum in flight operations and availability is affected. But we will fly out as soon as we find a flight. We have our boys assembled in Kabul and they are preparing for the series,” added Shinwari.
He said that their squad is expected to depart within the next four days.
“We hope the squad will depart in the next four days. We have updated both the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and both are on board. I am thankful to SLC for hosting us and that is really generous of them,” he added.
Notably, all the three ODI matches will be played in Hambantota.
Meanwhile, the ACB is also set to host an expanded form of Shpageeza T20 Cricket League in September at the Kabul Cricket Stadium.
In the upcoming eighth edition of the league, couple of two more teams have been added to the roster, bringing the total number of franchises to eight.
“This time round, SCL will provide audiences and fans with a new experience. It will also be great financially for players,” Shinwari had said in a statement.
One of the franchises – Band-e Amir Dragons’ owner Anwar Mukhles expressed his thanks to the ACB and said: “I would like to thank all franchise owners who will ensure that people in Afghanistan will enjoy the game of cricket amid recent events unfolding in the country. Our national players will play in their own country and will also entertain their fans here.”
The eight franchises are namely Hindukush Stars, Pamir Zalmiyan, Speenghar Tigers, Kabul Eagles, Amo Sharks, Bost Defenders, Band-e Amir Dragons, Mis-e Ainak Knights.
Notably, Hindukush Stars and Pamir Zalmiyan are the new participants in the tournament.