Afghanistan, NZ to discuss possibility of full-length series

Officials of the two cricket boards will meet in Kolkata on the sidelines of the International Cricket Council meeting.

Central contracts for Afghanistan’s players will help them focus on their game, says Atif Mashal.   -  AP

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is likely to meet the New Zealand Cricket Board officials on the sidelines of the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Kolkata to discuss the possibility of a full-length series.

ACB chief Atif Mashal, who is in India to meet with the ICC top brass, is believed to take the matter forward. However, there is nothing official yet as the ACB remained tight-lipped on the issue.

No specific agenda

While there will be no specific Afghanistan-related agenda in the ICC meeting, the ACB chief wants the council to address some financial issues which are bothering the board. “We don’t have any specific agenda. The only thing we will be focusing on is the financial issues. We have some financial issues and we will be discussing them. We will be discussing general issues,” he said.

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Asked whether he will ask for more funds from the ICC, Mashal said: “No. The distribution of the money for the FTP period, we have some constraints on that. So, we will be discussing those issues.”

The board chief admitted the newly introduced central contracts will help the cricketers focus on their game. “The backbone of Afghan cricketers was the domestic set-up, so now we secure them by giving contracts. At least, they can be financially independent and not dependent on families. That really helps in focusing on cricket and they can concentrate on the game, fitness and other aspects. That was very helpful and the feedback is very positive,” Mashal said.

The ACB chief will reach Kolkata early on Wednesday for the all-important ICC meeting, which gets over on Thursday.