NEW DELHI/KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stated on Thursday the nationwide cricket staff was a supply of pleasure to the war-ravaged nation as it took on India in a historic first check match and he urged different cricketing nations to tackle the staff.
Awarded full member standing by the International Cricket Council (ICC) alongside Ireland final yr, Afghanistan grew to become the 12th test-playing nation after first being recognised by the ICC in 2001. India is the world’s top-ranked check aspect.
Cricket was tolerated by the Taliban throughout their harsh Islamic rule from 1996 to 2001. The Taliban, now combating to depose Ghani’s U.S.-backed authorities and reimpose sharia, declined to touch upon the match.
India received the toss and selected to bat, making a powerful begin in the maiden five-day check match in the Indian metropolis of Bengaluru, attended by prime authorities officers from each side. India had scored 200 for the lack of only one wicket in the early afternoon.
“This is yet another poignant example of the everlasting friendship between India and Afghanistan,” Ghani stated in a press release.
“We also request other test cricketing nations to arrange regular series with Afghanistan.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated he hoped the match may convey the South Asian neighbours nearer collectively. Indian Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore shook palms with Afghan gamers earlier than the match and skim out a congratulatory assertion from Modi.
Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai was introduced with a memento from former India all-rounder Salim Durani, who was born in Kabul, earlier than the match started.
India has provided Afghanistan using two of its stadiums to host matches with different nations. India donates a whole lot of cricketing kits to younger gamers and has plans to construct small pitches in main districts of Afghanistan.
India enjoys shut relations with Afghanistan and each accuse widespread neighbour Pakistan of not doing sufficient to cease Islamist militants working on their territory.
“The historic friendship and relations between India and Afghanistan go back to centuries. I’m glad that cricket is now added as another layer,” Afghanistan Cricket Board chairman Atif Mashal stated in January, when the date and venue of the match have been introduced.
In Kabul, diplomats from cricket-playing nations and Afghan officers gathered on the Indian embassy to observe the cricket.
“This match is a result of immense goodwill and solidarity between the two countries,” one senior diplomat stated.
India has given long-term visas to Afghan gamers to reside and practise there with out worrying about safety.
Last month, eight individuals have been killed and dozens have been wounded by a number of explosions at a cricket match in the japanese Afghan metropolis of Jalalabad, illustrating the difficulties the nation has confronted in growing sports activities.
The blasts occurred after night prayers at a soccer stadium that was internet hosting a cricket match at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
“We are lucky that some of our best players are getting a chance to live in India and represent our nation,” stated an official with the Afghan Cricket Board.
Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi and Rupam Jain and Qadir Sediqi in Kabul; Editing by Nick Macfie