ACB working on strategic plans: Stanikzai
KABUL (Pajhwok): The cricket board on Saturday said it had initiated work on devising strategic plans ranging from three to 10 years for the development of domestic cricket as well as achieving the status of a Test cricket nation and ICC full membership.
Shafiqullah Stanikzai, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB)’s chief executive officer, told Pajhwok Afghan New Afghanistan beat Kenya in 2013 to finish second in the WCL Championship and qualify for the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
Since then matches Afghanistan had played both at home and international level were being evaluated, he said.
“We are evaluating in a way to know where we stand in the cricket world. We have fulfilled our duty at home and would soon introduce our strategic plan for the next three years.”
He said the strategic plan was aimed at achieving the Test cricket status and making it to the 2019 World Cup.
“These targets are difficult, but not impossible and we will try our best to achieve them,” Stanikzai said. He said achieving the ICC full membership from the current associate membership was his top priority.
But this required a lot of efforts and the national and under-19 sides had to play many international matches and had to perform well, he explained.
A 10-year-plan has been initiated to achieve these targets, he said, adding that the long-term plan prioritised attaining the ICC full membership.
Construction of more international standard playgrounds, arranging training camps for the national team in foreign countries and hiring services of foreign coaches were part of the 10-year-plan, he elaborated.
He said the ACB had identified 40 players for their best performances in matches played at home and abroad.
The players would be divided into three teams to compete against each other for place in the national side when needed, he said.
He said efforts were underway to improve the under-19 national side and a tournament had been launched for the under-18s.
He said the inclusion of Afghanistan in the ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP) was a great achievement as it would help increase the council’s annual budget for Afghanistan as well as international tours.
He requested President Ashraf Ghani to discuss the possibility of Afghanistan hosting matches in India during his upcoming visit to India next week.
Afghanistan currently use the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE to host matches.
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