Sharjah likely to host Afghanistan’s maiden Test

The newly-promoted Test side, which has Sharjah as its home venue for the longer format of the game is expected to begin its Test sojourn in early February.

The rise of Afghanistan and Ireland (not in picture) were voted in as full ICC members on June 22, meaning they can play test matches against the world's elite countries.   -  AP

If things fall in place, Afghanistan is likely to mark its Test debut against Zimbabwe at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in February. The newly-promoted Test side, which has Sharjah as its home venue for the longer format of the game is expected to begin its Test sojourn in early February.

While there is no official word from the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) yet, highly-placed sources confirmed to Sportstar that the young side is ‘all set’ to take on the African nation.

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Another new Test entrant, Ireland, will be making its debut against Pakistan. And before that, it will play an ODI series in Sharjah in December.

Talking to Sportstar, Sharjah Cricket Stadium’s honorary secretary, Mazhar Khan admitted that the Afghanistan board is ‘planning’ to host the first Test in February. “That’s what we have been told. They (the ACB) are trying to work on the dates,” Khan said, adding, “It’s still tentative. Hopefully, we will get a Test match here.”

After attaining Test status a few months back, the Afghanistan officials have been trying to get things in order before making the debut in the longer format of the game. In an interview with this publication a few months back, ACB chief Atif Mashal had confirmed that while Greater Noida will remain its ‘home base’ for the One-dayers, while Sharjah will be considered for Tests.

And now if the talks with Zimbabwe Cricket Board finally draw result, the Arab city will witness a beginning—a new start of Afghanistan cricket.

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