Afghanistan seek home ground in India

Shukriya Pakistan

NEW DELHI: War-ravaged Afghanistan is seeking a home ground for its fledgling national cricket team in neighbouring India, powerhouse of the sport, a top official said Wednesday.

President Ashraf Ghani has been asked to push for assistance for his side during an official visit to India next week, his first since winning elections last year, said Afghanistan Cricket Board president Nasimullah Danish.

“Unfortunately, we have not got as much assistance from India as we should have,” Danish told AFP by phone from Kabul.

“I don’t know why, but maybe the BCCI has got other things on its mind,” he said, referring to the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India.

“That is why we have requested our president to discuss how we can cooperate with the Indian cricket establishment both on and off the field.

“I hope our national team can play in India soon. It will also be a great help to get some expertise in coaches and infrastructure,” Danish said.

“We would like to play our home matches against other teams in India. We don’t want to play all the time in either the United Arab Emirates or Pakistan, we want to play in India.”

Afghanistan, who have been taking part in major tournaments since 2010, recorded their first World Cup win in February when they defeated Scotland by one wicket in Dunedin.

Afghanistan have faced India thrice so far, twice during the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean in 2010 and Sri Lanka in 2012, and once at the Asia Cup one-day tournament in Bangladesh last year.

India are due to host the World Twenty20 next year and  Afghanistan are expected to qualify. (AFP)