Ariana Television Network (ATN) has secured the rights to broadcast Afghanistan Cricket Board’s new one-day domestic event called Green Afghanistan One Day Cup which kicks off on Sunday morning.
ACB unveiled plans for the new tournament recently and said three teams will participate. The tournament starts Sunday, May 8, and will be held in Khost Province.
Ariana Television will broadcast all matches live, starting Sunday at 8.30am local time when Pamir Legends and Maiwand Defenders meet.
The three teams are Maiwand Defenders, Pamir Legends and Hindukush Strikers.
The names derive from regions in the country, with Maiwand being an area in Kandahar province that holds significant historical value while Pamir and Hindukush are two of the highest mountain peaks in Afghanistan.
The tournament will be played in a one-day format and a total of seven games will be played across 12 days. The three teams will play each other twice with the final scheduled for May 20.
According to the ACB, the players will include all available national team members as well as rising stars who are part of youth cricket development programs.
The aim of this is to help national team players prepare for upcoming international matches but also to hone the skills of young cricketers and expose them to experienced national team players.
ACB Chairman Mirwais Ashraf said this is in keeping with the board’s efforts to further develop cricket in Afghanistan.
“Our nation loves the game of cricket and we are trying to further develop the game in the country. The tournament will see a greater involvement of senior players with the junior-level players, which helps in the overall skill building of the players as well as contributes to the elevation of the game in the region, I urge the fans to come and watch these games in the stadium”.
“We have an eye on our Super League games in the coming months, so this tournament will add more match-time preparation for our players going forward to their international assignments,” he said.
Naseeb Khan, the ACB’s CEO said the name Green Afghanistan was chosen so as to portray the natural beauty of the country.
“We expect the fans in Khost and the contiguous provinces to enjoy the Eid festival in the stadium as the national heroes bring happiness and joy to the region,” he said.
The ACB also stated that this new event will bring more diversity to the structure of cricket in the country and will help enhance the quality of the game among young Afghan players.
The match schedule is as follows:
Pamir Legends vs Maiwand Defenders: Sunday May 8 from 9am
Maiwand Defenders vs Hindukush Strikers: Tuesday May 10 from 9am
Hindukush Strikers vs Pamir Legends: Thursday May 12 from 9am
Pamir Legends vs Maiwand Defenders: Saturday May 14 from 9am
Maiwand Defenders vs Hindukush Strikers: Monday May 16 from 9am
Hindukush Strikers vs Pamir Legends: Wednesday May 18 from 9am
The final between the two top-scoring teams will take place on Friday May 20 from 9am.
Afghanistan-Pakistan ODI series ‘not possible this year’
Afghanistan’s three-match ODI series against Pakistan has been postponed again until next year, a Pakistani media outlet reported on Sunday.
The two countries were originally due to play three ODI matches in early September in 2021 in Sri Lanka, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that the Afghanistan Cricket Board had requested the series be postponed.
Pakistan Cricket Board had said both boards would try to reschedule the series in 2022.
This time it has been postponed due to the busy schedule of the Pakistan team, Geo News reported citing unidentified sources.
According to reports, the series will now not be possible until April next year.
ACB announces Shpageeza Cricket League 2022 schedule
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced Monday fixtures for the eighth edition of the Shpageeza Cricket League (SCL) 2022, which is scheduled to be held from July 18 to August 5 in Kabul.
Eight star national players will be retained by their SCL teams, including Rashid Khan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Najibullah Zadran.
In the players’ draft for the tournament, conducted on June 10, a total of 142 players, national and uncapped, were drafted in five categories by the franchises, now numbering eight after the addition of two new franchises.
The players retained ahead of the draft were Rashid for Band-e-Amir Dragons; Gurbaz for Kabul Eagles, the defending champions; Najibullah Zadran for Speenghar Tigers; Mohammad Shahzad for Mis Ainak Knights; Darwish Rasooli for Amo Sharks and Samiullah Shinwari for Bost Defenders.
Two new teams, Pamir Zalmi and Hindukush Stars, picked Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hassan as their retained players respectively.
Of these players, Shahzad was retained in the highest category, Icon, as were ten others: Mohammad Nabi (Kabul Eagles), Fazalhaq Farooqi (Bost Defenders), Hashmatullah Shahidi (Pamir Zalmi), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Hindukush Stars), Usman Ghani (Speenghar Tigers), Hazratullah Zazai (Hindukush Stars), Asghar Afghan (Mis Ainak Knights), Karim Janat (Band-e-Amir Dragons), Ihsanullah Janat (Amo Sharks) and Noor Ali Zadran (Pamir Zalmi).
In addition, two players have been drafted in the Diamond category by each franchise, three in Platinum, four in Golden, and six in the Silver category.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board said in a statement that “it’s fine to note that the SCL2022 is expected to be conducted from July 15 to August 2 in Kabul”.
Kabul Eagles beat Mis Ainak Knights in the final the last time the tournament was played, in 2020, making it their second title, after 2016. Mis Ainak Knights and Speenghar Tigers have also each won the tournament twice, while Band-e-Amir Dragons have won it once.
Pakistan take top two spots on latest ICC ODI rankings
Pakistan now boast the two highest-rated ODI batters in the world for the first time after in-form opener Imam-ul-Haq went past India veteran Virat Kohli, to join team-mate Babar Azam at the top of the ICC MRF Tyres Men’s One Day Batter rankings.
Imam scored three half-centuries during Pakistan’s recent ODI series at home against West Indies. His form was duly rewarded as he won the Player of the Series award and made a move on the latest rankings that were released on Wednesday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) reported.
The 26-year-old jumped a massive 20 rating points to move in front of Kohli and now has a career best mark of 815 rating points.
This is still well behind Babar’s mark of 892, with the Pakistan captain maintaining his enormous lead at the head of the ODI batter rankings following his 17th ODI century in the opening match against West Indies.
There was some other minor moves inside the top 10, with Aaron Finch rising a spot to ninth as Australia team-mate David Warner fell to 10th – while England’s Jonny Bairstow dropped two places to eighth and South Africa’s Rassie van der Dussen jumped a spot to seventh.
There was more good news for Pakistan on the latest bowler rankings, as tall pacer Shaheen Afridi jumped two places to fourth following his good series with the ball against West Indies.
New Zealand’s Trent Boult remains on top of the bowler rankings, but Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood and Kiwi team-mate Matt Henry are closing in after they jumped one spot to second and third respectively.
England’s Chris Woakes was the man to make way out of the top five as he fell four spots to equal sixth, tied with Mujeeb Ur Rahman after the Afghan spinner rose two places.
The biggest mover on the all-rounder rankings is Oman’s Zeeshan Maqsood, with the leftie jumping 13 places to 10th following a string of impressive performances in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 action.
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