BCCI: Teams touring India to play Afghanistan

The boards reached the agreement during BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary’s visit to Kabul.

File Photo: BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary (right) is on an official visit to Kabul.   -  AFP

In a major boost to Afghanistan cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided that all international teams travelling to India will play at least one practice game against Afghanistan.

Interestingly, the Afghan side has its home grounds in Greater Noida and Dehradun. With this symbiotic arrangement, the Afghanistan side will gain more international exposure while providing valuable practice to visiting teams.

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The decision was taken after BCCI’s acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary met the Afghanistan Cricket Board chairman, Atif Mashal, in Kabul over the last few days. “Afghanistan is now a full member of the ICC and we share a cordial relation with the BCCI. This will help in strengthening the development of the game,” ACB chief Mashal said.

Strengthening ties

Interestingly, Afghanistan will play its first Test against India at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru next month. “Afghanistan players are well known and loved in the country (India) for their performances in the IPL, and it will increase in the coming years. Cricket will help strengthen the ties between the two countries further,” BCCI’s Choudhary said.

Though the officials remained tight-lipped on the matter, Sportstar understands that the ACB bosses have spoken to their BCCI counterparts about the Afghanistan Premier League, which is set to begin in the UAE later this year.

While the BCCI does not allow its players to participate in the other franchise leagues, it would be interesting to see in which capacity the Board decides to help the ACB ensure that the tournament is staged successfully.