PCB's Subhan Ahmad (L) and ACB's Noor Mohammad shake hands after the official agreeement between the two boards. -Photo by AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan on Friday signed an agreement to provide greater support for cricket in Afghanistan by training players and staff to help lift the sport in the war-torn country.

Cricket is fast overtaking football as the most popular sport in Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime, with the national team qualifying for back-to-back World Twenty20s in 2010 and 2012.

The sport was introduced by Afghan refugees returning from cricket-mad Pakistan, where they fled to following the 1979 Soviet invasion.

Afghanistan became a member of the International Cricket Council in 2001 and in 2009 it made division one and attained one-day status.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) to provide technical and professional help.

The PCB said the assistance includes game education programmes, coaching courses, skill and performance analysis, basic umpiring and groundsman courses.

The PCB will also help plan, organise and implement development programmes for players, including at the Pakistan national cricket academy in Lahore.

PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad said Pakistan has always supported cricket in Afghanistan.

“Actually it is Pakistan's support that has allowed Afghanistan cricket to make rapid strides amongst the ICC's affiliate member nations and we know that Afghanistan has the potential to go places,” said Ahmad.

“And this would be good not just in terms of spreading the game in Afghanistan but promoting peace and harmony there by bringing people closer together.”

ACB chief executive Noor Muhammad welcomed Pakistan's support as of the “utmost importance”.

“The recent support shall put Afghanistan cricket's development on the fast track as our cricketers, coaches and umpires shall be able to make use of the PCB's excellent facilities and various education programmes,” said Muhammad.

Afghanistan last month played limited overs matches against Pakistan's second team in their lead-up to World Cup 2015 qualifying rounds in the United Arab Emirates.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (12)

Asif Kahsmiri
March 22, 2013 3:49 pm
well done Pakistan.
aalam
March 22, 2013 4:38 pm
i think PCB should worry about Pakistani cricket.....................
Alam Khan
March 22, 2013 6:39 pm
I believe afghanistan would be better team with high standing in short time if Pakistan help promote game there. I have no doubt that Afghanistan will become one of top cricket playing nation, inshaallah One day Afghanistan will produce such high calibre fast bowlers that people will foget about West Indies pace attack of 1970s
Roy
March 22, 2013 7:11 pm
Addition to the article, courses on match fixing, ball tampering will also be tutored to Afghanistan team.
Mustafa
March 22, 2013 7:58 pm
Nice job PCB
Javed
March 23, 2013 2:22 am
This is a thankless undertaking. Not worth the effort. Just read how members of the current Afghan team like M Shahzad, who have learnt their cricket in Pakistan have been bad-mouthing Pakistan's cricketers and cozying up to Dhoni & company. PCB should focus on developing and improving the game in Pakistan instead. Forget the Afghans. Pakistan helped Bangladesh also- what did you get in return?
punter
March 23, 2013 3:22 pm
Why can't PCB focusing on improving cricket in this country? Why can't Afghans go to India for training and to "promote" cricket? I don't see BCCI offering any agreement to Indian Cricket. I don't understand what we owe afghans that we always have to go out of our way to help them and only to find that later does not give a damn of our "hospitality", "brotherhood" and "friendship". Enough is enough!!
punter
March 23, 2013 3:25 pm
well done what? PCB should get their own house in order first before setting out to help others.
punter
March 23, 2013 3:27 pm
Well said.
ricky
March 23, 2013 4:46 pm
wonder if they get coaching in fixing matches
Afzal Khan
March 23, 2013 7:44 pm
JAVED you said every thing 100% wright. I agree with you. PCB should mine there own business.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
bliss
March 24, 2013 12:32 pm
Funny. A bankrupt PCB to help another board. Good that sense of humor prevails in an otherwise doomed state.
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