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    ACB seeks India’s help in promoting cricket

    KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) officials have sought support from their Indian counterparts for promoting the sport in the war-torn country, the game’s regulatory body said on Monday.

    Afghan officials held a productive meeting with members of the Board for Cricket Control in India on Sunday and discussed various issues, such as coaching, umpiring and scoring, the ACB said in a statement.

    "We had a good meeting with BCCI Honorary Secretary Sanjay Jagdale and General Manager Ratnakar Shetty. It's in the initial stage. We want to build good relations with BCCI.

    “We want help to develop technical staff, coaches, umpires, scorers and video analysts," said Shahzada Masood, Chairman of ACB. Also present at the meeting was ACB High Performance Programme Manager Basheer Stanikzai.

    "We are preparing a new Under-19 team as the last World Cup team is over-aged. We have selected a 20-member squad and are preparing for the ACC Under-19 Cup to be held in Malaysia from May 1 to 12. That's the qualification round for the next U-19 World Cup. We need good coaches, especially in terms of batting," said Stanikzai.

    Afghanistan is to play Scotland in the ICC League series match apart from two ODIs and one T20 in preparation for World T20 next year. It has set its sights on the 2015 World Cup to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

    Asked about BCCI's approach on inclusion of Afghan players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in future, Stanikzai said this idea germinated in their mind after four players did well in a similar ongoing event in Bangladesh.

    "We are hopeful that BCCI or any of the franchise teams of IPL would give them a chance. I personally approached one of them to give them a chance prior to their IPL matches in pre-training camps. Mostly we will be giving fast bowlers. Hopefully, we will have a positive response," Stanikzai remarked.