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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rashid urges PCB to include Afghanistan in domestics T20 event

Afghanistan cricket team coach Rashid Latif has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to include Afghanistan team in the forthcoming PCB domestic Twenty20 event. Talking to German radio Deutsche Welle here the other day, Rashid, who is also former Pakistan captain, thanked the PCB for inviting Afghanistan for three one-day matches which concluded against Pakistan A this weekend. 

“It was a good tour for both Pakistan and Afghanistan as we were the first foreign team touring Pakistan in two years. And at the same time Afghanistan cricketers learnt a lot from this trip because Pakistan A’s strength was equal to their national team. I am thankful to the PCB for arranging our first official tour and this trend should continue now. It will be better that the PCB allows at least one team from Afghanistan’s Kabul region in their Twenty20 Championship. It will bring more colour to Pakistan’ most popular cricket tournament,” Rashid added.

The PCB is going to hold the 8-team T20 competition later this month at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. Although Afghanistan have got the one-day international status after finishing fifth in the World Cup qualifying round, still no Test playing team have played a single ODI against them. 

But this does not bother Rashid at all. According to Rashid, who played 37 Tests and 166 one-day internationals for Pakistan, Afghanistan Cricket Board should arrange series against associate countries like Ireland, Scotland, Holland and Kenya. “If we perform well against those nations then definitely big cricketing nations will be willing to play T20 internationals against us. We should be focusing on this rather playing one-day matches against full members of the ICC at the moment,” he said.

The ICC Intercontinental Tournament is Afghanistan’s next assignment. About defending the Intercontinental title, Rashid said that players’ development was his priority at the moment. “I am working more on players development this time,” he said.
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