NEW DELHI, June 14 (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned on Thursday he hoped a historic cricket match between India and Afghanistan would strengthen ties between the South Asian neighbours and allies within the combat in opposition to militancy within the area.
Afghanistan began its maiden five-day take a look at match within the southern Indian metropolis of Bengaluru on Thursday, with the match attended by high authorities officers from either side.
“I congratulate the people of Afghanistan as their cricket team plays their first international test match. Glad that they have chosen to play the historic match with India. Best wishes to both teams!” Modi mentioned on Twitter. “May sports continue to bring our people closer and strengthen ties.”
India’s sports activities minister, Rajyavardhan Rathore, shook fingers with Afghan gamers earlier than the match and skim out a congratulatory assertion from Modi.
Awarded full member standing by the International Cricket Council (ICC) alongside Ireland in June final 12 months, 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 take a look at facet.
Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai was offered with a memento from former India all-rounder Salim Durani, who was born in Kabul, earlier than the match started.
India has already provided war-ravaged Afghanistan two stadiums within the nation to host matches with different nations.
New Delhi enjoys shut relations with Afghanistan and each accuse frequent neighbour Pakistan of not doing sufficient to cease Islamist militants working on its 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 mentioned in January, when the date and venue of the match had been introduced. (Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Amlan Chakraborty Editing by Paul Tait)