PCB gives NOC to 6 players to play in Afghanistan
Published - Aug 6, 2016 6:06 am | Updated - Aug 6, 2016 6:06 am
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to six of its players to play in the regional T20 tournament of Afghanistan. Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal will travel to Afghanistan to play for the regional franchises in the Shpageeza T20 Tournament (meaning Sixes T20 Tournament).
The tournament will be played from August 9-19 at Kabul International Cricket Stadium. This will be the fourth edition of the tournament with the first being played in 2013 between five teams. A sixth team was added later in 2015. This, however, will be the first edition that will feature international cricketers, though all of them from Pakistan.
Shpageeza is Afghanistan’s premier T20 tournament. 6 teams participate in round-robin format league. Each team plays the other teams once and the leader at the end is declared the winner. Speen Ghar Tigers won the inaugural tournament in 2013 and are currently the defending champions as well.
Band-e-Amir Dragons won the 2014. The tournament has attracted huge crowds in the past and the popularity is expected to grow even further as the war-stricken country strives to play international cricket at home soon.
This is not the first time that Pakistan has helped Afghanistan towards cricket and then bringing international cricket in the country. Afghans first became aware of the cricket sport during their migration in neighboring Pakistan where it is largely played by the Pakistani youths. They carried the Pakistani passion and sport with them to Afghanistan and have progressed rapidly since.
Just recently, Habib Bank Limited, Pakistan’s domestic team, toured Afghanistan and played 4-day and one-day matches there. HBL team had international cricketers like Ahmed Shehzad, Hasan Raza, Nauman Anwar, Umar Gul, Abdur Rehman and Imran Farhat. This tour may not have been given a recognized status but it did send positive vibes across the international cricket fraternity about the situation in Afghanistan.