The International Cricket
Council (ICC) and its Asian counterpart (ACC) have commited to develop and promote cricket in Afghanistan.
Cricket in Afghanistan is presently played on concrete pitches
ACC development officer Iqbal Sikander,
who is also representing the ICC, made the pledge on the first official ACC visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday.
"The main reason for this visit was to see as to how cricket can
be developed because the international community as yet do not know whether cricket is being played here at all," Sikander said.
"I can assure you of the ICC and the ACC's desire of developing
cricket in Afghanistan and hope that together we could develop
cricket from the ground level.
"I'm representing both the ACC and the ICC simply because
there's been war for the last two decades and no-one wants to come
The Afghanistan Cricket Federation (ACF) joined the ACC in June
but was already a member of the ICC.
"Cricket is becoming more popular than ever in Afghanistan and
the people are very keen to see and play this game," said ACF
founder Allah Dad Noori, described by Sikander as
"the father of cricket in Afghanistan".
Sikander met with Afghan and ACF officials to discuss
development of the game in the Central Asian country, where it faces
tough competition from football and buzkashi, a polo-like game
played with a goat carcass.
"They've all been very helpful and co-operative and are keen to
see that cricket flourishes in Afghanistan," he said.
some very constructive meetings with the vice president of
Afghanistan, Mr Hedayat Amin Arsala."
Most Afghan cricketers are former refugees who picked up the game in neighbouring Pakistan and brought it back to
their homeland where schoolchildren are also starting to play.
Sikander said Kabul mayor Mohammad Anwar Jagdalig would soon allocate land for a cricket ground.
Arsala had also promised to provide a pavilion and changing
rooms at the ground while the ACC would help lay up to three pitches
and provide rollers.
Afghanistan's under-15, U-17, U-19 and senior teams
would be invited to participate in all tournaments being organised
by the ACC, with tour expenses paid by the council.