For many years, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) had been oscillating back and forth to host a cricket match as they are proscribed not to organize a fixture in their backyard, owing to security complications and a lack of infrastructure. For Afghanistan, it must be disheartening not to conduct a fixture on their home surface despite fostering noteworthy talents.
The habitude of ACB continues as they recently announced, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would be their new home venue for upcoming matches. Earlier, the sprouting cricketing nation adopted India as their home venue for the long haul.
Their designated home locations from 2018 to 2019 were Greater Noida and Dehradun. From 2010 to 2016, Sharjah served as their primary location. Due to logistical difficulties in Dehradun, they also hosted an all-format series against the West Indies in 2019. This was accomplished by Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
International teams no longer go to the war-torn country because of the political climate there, and even Afghan players avoid staying home for extended periods. As soon as the Taliban took control in August 2021, the landscape deteriorated even more.
However, the ACB has now plunged into a five-year mutual agreement with Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) wherein Afghanistan Cricket Team can host any fixtures in UAE’s prolific stadiums such as Sharjah, Dubai International Stadium, and Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
We Are Happy To Ensure Afghanistan Has a Home: General Secretary of ECB
The ECB stipulated an equivalent substitute to allow ACB to play at the Emirates. To elucidate, Afghanistan and UAE would require to square off against each other, at least for three T20Is in a calendar year. In return, the ECB will also offer Afghanistan some crucial logistical support, particularly commercial space and help with visas.
CEO of ACB, Naseeb Khan, recognized the collaboration between the two nations and voiced his belief that this arrangement would be successful and considerably advance both nations’ future aims.
In response, Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board highlighted that Afghanistan and UAE have had long-standing, peaceful ties in the past and that UAE is pleased to assist the ACB in securing a venue for their cricket.
“We are also thankful to Afghanistan Cricket Board for agreeing to play T20 internationals against UAE Team each year. This will provide our UAE team with invaluable exposure and help in their development,” added Usmani.
According to the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, ACB will host Zimbabwe across all formats in the year leading up to the 2023 ODI World Cup as well as three ODIs against each Australia, Pakistan, and the West Indies. Adding to that, all these matches would be played in UAE’s three venues.
Presently, the Hashmatullah Shahidi-led side is touring Sri Lanka for three one-day internationals. In Shahidi’s reign, Afghanistan already trounced the Island nation in the first ODI by 60 runs, and they are set to play the second fixture of the series on Sunday, 27th November.