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Afghanistan to Play First Ever Test Match after Becoming ICC Full Member

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(Last Updated On: June 23, 2017)

Afghanistan and Ireland were granted Test Status by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday at ICC Full Council meeting in London, meaning they have become cricket’s 11th and 12th Test-playing nations.

Afghanistan and Ireland’s boards had applied to the ICC to have their status upgraded from Associates and this was put to vote at the meeting on Thursday and unanimously supported.

 “I’d like to congratulate Afghanistan and Ireland on their Full Membership status which is the result of their dedication to improving performance both off and on the field resulting in the significant development and growth of cricket in their respective countries,” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said.

 “Both have clearly demonstrated they meet the new criteria and as such have made the progression to Full Membership,” Richardson added.

 Afghanistan will now be able to play Test cricket, which is considered the pinnacle or the highest standard in this sporting code. All Full Member nations are automatically qualified to play ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals.

“For a nation like Afghanistan it is a huge and remarkable achievement, the entire nation will be celebrating across all five regions and different provinces, it is the perfect Eid gift,” said Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), Chief Executive, Shafiq Stanikzai.

“Everyone has waited for this news and has been so keen to hear this news. Afghanistan Cricket has gone from strength to strength and we dared to dream that this would happen and today it has become a reality,” Stanikzai added.

Thanking the ICC and the board for the achievement, Stanikzai further said that there is still more work to be done.

“Every achievement is great, but it opens the door to challenges. We’ll be hosting our international matches in Greater Noida and Sharjah, there should be a day when we can host inside Afghanistan,” he said, cited by Espncricinfo.

No Test matches have yet been scheduled for the two newcomers but the ACB Chief Executive stated that Afghanistan will soon play their first ever test match against other Full Members of the ICC.

“I cannot lock the date, but obviously the reputation Afghanistan cricket has, I can say that we will be playing our first ever test match sooner rather than later,” Stanikzai concluded.  

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Four killed, 11 injured in traffic accidents in Badghis and Takhar

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(Last Updated On: June 28, 2022)

Four people were killed and 11 others were injured in two separate traffic incidents in northern provinces of Badghis and Takhar, officials said on Tuesday.

The incident in Badghis involved a Land Cruiser vehicle which crashed on the road between the provincial capital of Qala-e-Naw and Bala Murghab district on Tuesday morning, said Baz Mohammad Sarwari, the provincial director of information.

Four people were killed and eight others were injured in the incident, he said.

Those injured were transported to Kabul by helicopter, the official said.

The incident in Takhar involved a TownAce truck that ran off the road on Monday evening, injuring three people.

The vehicle was on its way from the provincial capital of Taluqan to Warsaj district when the incident happened, said Abdul Mobin Safi, a spokesman for Takhar police.

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Afghanistan leads world in negative experiences

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(Last Updated On: June 28, 2022)

Afghanistan in 2021 displaced Iraq from the top spot on the Negative Experience Index that the latter had occupied for the two previous years, Gallup said in a survey report released Tuesday.

According to the report, worry, stress and sadness soared to record levels in Afghanistan in 2021: 80% of Afghans were worried, 74% were stressed and 61% felt sadness much of the day.

No other population in Gallup’s 16 year trend has ever reported feeling this much worry, the reported noted.

Gallup said Afghans’ lives were already in a tailspin before the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) returned to power in 2021. Most Afghans were struggling to afford food and shelter, few felt safe, and they saw their lives getting worse with every passing year, it said.

Gallup surveys conducted in August and September — as the U.S. withdrew and IEA took control — reveal Afghans were losing the remaining joy that they had, the report said.

Afghanistan’s score of 59 on the Negative Experience Index was the highest score on record for the country and the highest score in the world in 2021. However, Afghanistan falls short of having the highest score on record for any country: The Central African Republic posted a score of 61 in 2017.

Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of IEA, rejected the report as “propaganda.”

“The reality is that after IEA’s takeover most citizens are feeling safe and have a sense of ownership and they are happy,” Karimi said on Twitter.

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UN appeals for $110 million to help Afghan earthquake victims

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(Last Updated On: June 28, 2022)

The United Nations on Monday launched an emergency appeal for $110 million to provide lifesaving assistance to more than 360,000 Afghans who were affected by last week’s earthquake in Paktika and Khost provinces.

The funding is required over the next three months.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said that the new appeal is part of this year’s Humanitarian Response plan, which calls for $4.4 billion, but is massively underfunded at just over one third.

“We and our partners are borrowing supplies, personnel, and resources from other humanitarian programmes,” UNOCHA said in a statement.

Wednesday’s earthquake killed over a thousand people and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes in Paktika and Khost provinces.

“I’m appealing to the world — please help. We need money. We need funding. We need support to resolve this tragedy,” Ramiz Alakbarov, UN resident relief coordinator for Afghanistan, said in a video message while visiting an area in Paktika province.

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