Inter-zonal four-dayer cricket tournament starts
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The Afghanistan Cricket Board has launched the annual inter-zonal cricket tournament being played in eastern Nangarhar and southeastern Khost provinces.
The main objective of this year’s four-dayer tournament is said to be the selection of 30 best players for the ICC Intercontinental Cup, an international first-class cricket tournament between leading associate members of the International Cricket Council aimed at allowing the participating nations the chance to earn the Test playing nation status.
A member of the ACB’s selection committee and former national team player, Hasti Gul Abid, told Pajhwok Afghan News at the Ghazi Amanullah Khan Stadium the tournament was simultaneously launched in Nangarhar and Khost provinces on Friday.
“The tournament takes place every year, in which players from the national team, Afghanistan-A team, the under-19 side and those from provinces take part. The event serves as a test case for these players because we select among them the best and courageous ones,” he said.
He hoped the selection of best players would help Afghanistan perform well in the Intercontinental Cup in order to become the world’s 11th Test playing nation.
ACB chief for the eastern zone, Bakhtiyar Sahil, told Pajhwok Afgahn News the inter-zonal tournament was participated by Amu, Bost, Band-i-Amir, Mes Aynak and Spin Ghar teams.
“We want to pick players who have the ability and courage to play Test matches because players for the next edition of the Intercontinental Cup will be selected from among these local clubs.”
In this year’s Intercontinental Cup games, Afghanistan finished on 135 in 61.4 overs in reply to Scotland's 233 in a rain-hit match and got six points for their efforts.
The tournament will be participated by PNG, UAE, Kenya, Ireland, Namibia and Holland besides Afghanistan.
Southern zone’s Bost team coach Qayamuddin Kakar told Pajhwok Afghan News the recently launched domestic tournament would leave a positive impact on physical health of the participating players and would strengthen their stamina.
On Friday (day one) Bost team scored 229 runs and were all out against Spin Ghar team who lost one wicket to the rival side for 32 runs until the end of the day.
While in Khost, the tournament was kicked off in the presence of ACB chief executive, his deputies and other officials.
The first four-day match is being played between Mes Aynak and Band-i-Amir cricket teams in Kuost on a privately-owned playground.
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