Afghanistan’s U19 cricket team left Kabul on Sunday morning for the UAE where they will play in Group A of the Asia Cup alongside India, Pakistan and the UAE.
The Afghan Cricket Board said the team will have two days of practice sessions before their first official match against Pakistan on Thursday at the ICC Academy Oval 2. They will take on the UAE in their next game on Saturday at the ICC Academy Oval 1.
Their final match will be back at the ICC Academy Oval 2 when they face India in their last match of the group stage on December 27.
ACB Chairman, Mirwais Ashraf said at a press conference before the team left that they were confident the team would perform well.
He also told the team that the “eyes of the nation” would be watching them.
Ashraf said the ACB would provide extra bonuses to the team depending on their performance. “We will also provide extra bonuses to the Man of the Match, the centurions, and the individuals who take five wickets,” he added.
The tournament starts on Thursday and runs through until December 31.
Ireland beat Afghanistan by seven wickets in first T20I match of series
Ireland beat Afghanistan by seven wickets in the first of five matches in the T20 International in Belfast on Tuesday.
George Dockrell hit the winning boundary off the penultimate ball to lift Ireland on to 171 for three after they were set a target of 169.
Afghanistan’s total of 168 for seven had been boosted by 30 runs off the final two overs, with Ibrahim Zadran clubbing 29 not out off 18 balls.
Afghanistan’s top scorer, opener Usman Ghani, struck two sixes and six fours in his 59 off 42 balls.
The two sides will meet again on Thursday at the same Civil Services Cricket Club venue in Stormont for the second time in their five-match series.
Former international cricket umpire Koertzen dies in car accident
Rudi Koertzen, former international cricket umpire from South Africa, died on Tuesday in a car accident in the country, ESPNcricInfo reported citing his family.
“He went on a golf tournament with some of his friends, and they were expected to come back on Monday, but it seems they decided to play another round of golf,” his son Rudi Koertzen jr said.
Koertzen, 73, was on the International Cricket Council’s elite panel of umpires for eight years and officiated in 331 matches, a record at the time of his retirement in 2010 that has since been surpassed by Pakistan’s Aleem Dar.
“It is a very big loss, foremost for his family and then for South Africa and cricket,” Dar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricInfo.
“I stood in so many games with him. He was not only very good as an umpire but also an excellent colleague, always very cooperative on field and also always willing to help off the field.
“Because of the way he was, he was also well-respected by players.”
Koertzen died while driving from Cape Town to Despatch in Eastern Cape, where he lived with his family, ESPNcricInfo said.
Koertzen still umpired occasionally in amateur cricket in his hometown of Despatch in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.
ACB names players for five-match T20I series against Ireland
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Monday announced the 16-member squad for the five T20I matches against Ireland scheduled to take place this month.
All matches will take place in Ireland and start on August 9. The tournament will run through until August 17.
According to the ACB, the team will leave for Ireland on Friday.
Mohammad Nabi will captain the team. The other players are as follows: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicketkeeper), Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Darwish Rasooli, Karim Jannat, Afsar Zazai, Azmatullah Umarzai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, Fazal Haq, Farid Malik, and Naveen ul Haq.
The reserves are Qais Ahmed, Usman Ghani, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Najat Masoud.
Noorul Haq Malikzi, the ACB’s head of the selection committee said: “We have selected a team for Ireland, which I am sure will have great achievements, because our priority is talent, young players, their performance and strength.”
The Afghanistan Cricket Board says that one of the goals of these competitions is to prepare for the Asia Cup and the World Cup, which will start in September and October respectively.
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