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Afghanistan and Ireland in line to be granted Test status by ICC

Afghanistan's strong performances have forced ICC to think about giving them a Test status.

Afghanistan
Afghanistan players celebrate the series victory against Ireland. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Following their rapid rise in ODI and T20 cricket, Afghanistan are likely to be granted Test status by the ICC very soon. Fellow associates Ireland too are in line to play Test cricket. Both of them were recently involved in the ICC’s Intercontinental Cup which Afghanistan won by 3-2 in an intensely competitive series held in India.

“England and a few other boards wanted Ireland to attain Test status before Afghanistan, but the Asian countries are strongly supporting Afghanistan. There is a possibility of both teams getting a chance to play Test cricket. The decision will be taken at the ICC’s next meeting,” mid-day quoted on Friday.

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Afghanistan are ranked number 10 in the ICC’s ODI ranking with 52 points. They are ahead of Test nation Zimbabwe who are closely behind at the 11th spot with 48 points followed by Ireland, who have 42 points. Interestingly, Afghanistan have played Zimbabwe 19 times in ODI cricket and have been victorious 11 times. Such performances against a Test nation definitely call for the Test status accreditation.

The Afghanistan Chief Coach: Lalchand Rajput, who was the Team manager when Indian triumphed in the 2007 World T20, was of the opinion that seeing his team’s performances in the recent past across formats; the ICC must give them an opportunity in the longest format of the game.

“The results are there for all to see. We have been consistent in overcoming our opponents in all three formats — T20s, ODIs and the longer version. Seeing this kind of performance, the ICC should give us an opportunity to play Test cricket. If the ICC grants Test status to Ireland as well, it will be a welcome move,” Rajput said.

Two of Afghanistan’s top players: Mohammed Nabi and Rashid Khan are busy playing in the IPL which underlines the growth the country’s cricketers have achieved in their short international careers. The team is scheduled to tour the West Indies in May as they play 3 ODI’s and as many T20’s against the T20 champions. All eyes will be on this series as Afghanistan are more than capable of giving the West Indies a run for their money.

Afghanistan will also feature in a 50-over game at Lord’s in July as they play against the Brendon McCullum-led MCC team. A game of cricket at Lord’s is a dream come true for any cricketer.

“To play at Lord’s is a big dream for every cricketer. The boys will be motivated to play and the match will be a good confidence- booster for Afghanistan. It will also be a huge achievement for me to coach a national team at the Mecca of cricket. However, we need to play good cricket and make use of this platform as an opportunity to showcase our talent,” said Rajput.

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