“We want to support the efforts Afghanistan have made for the promotion of cricket and have nominated them for associate membership of the ICC.” -File photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Monday nominated Afghanistan to become an ICC associate member.

The announcement was made by ACC Development Committee’s chairman Zaka Ashraf who also heads the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“We want to support the efforts Afghanistan have made for the promotion of cricket and have nominated them for associate membership of the ICC,” Zaka told media persons after the briefing.

“We have also offered Afghanistan to play in Pakistan and want to support them in every form of cricket.”

“It’s not just Afghanistan which was given an offer to play in Pakistan but all the associate members and the Asian members are welcomed to show their muscle on our grounds,” said the PCB chief.

It is pertinent to mention that since that harrowing terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team at Lahore in 2009, not a single foreign cricket team has visited Pakistan despite some hectic efforts made by the PCB.

Elaborating upon the assistance that the PCB will give to the emerging cricketing nations, Zaka said: “We will be providing all the assistance to the emerging cricketing nations to help them learn the skills of the game.”

He remarked that PCB was already working on similar initiatives and “is working on establishing a strong cricketing structure in China.”

Commenting over the resumption of bliateral cricketing ties with India which have been in limbo since the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the PCB chief maintained: “Both India and Pakistan can give a lot to the fans in this part of the world by playing against each other regularly and we are looking forward to work with our counterparts in India for the same.”

When asked if any foreign team’s visit is scheduled in Pakistan, Zaka said: “We will soon be able to host Asian level cricketing tournaments.”

However, he failed to give any time frame to the media about the resumption of international cricket in Pakistan.

The ACC’s meeting was attended by Ashraful Haq (Chief Executive ACC), Ravi Sehgal (Vice President ACC), Punkaj Khimji member (Oman Cricket Association), Mazhar Khan (Administrative Officer Emirates Cricket Board), Shubhangi KulKarni (Chairperson ACC Women Committee), Shazada Saleem Ahmad (President Hong Kong Cricket), Bandula Warnapura (Development Manager ACC), Thusith Perera (Finance Manager ACC) and Ganesh Sundaramoorthy (Compliance Manager ACC) attended the meeting.

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