Afghanistan ‘A’ replaced Australia ‘A’ for a triangular series in South Africa which also involves India ‘A’. The tournament will be played later this month. With no other didn’t show interest in this first class cricket tour, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), who was recently awarded the ICC full-membership status, garbed the opportunity and sent the team. Due to ongoing pay dispute between Cricket Australia (CA) and Australian Players’ Association (APA) Australia ‘A’ have boycotted the tour. Due to a pay dispute, Australia senior team’s tour to Bangladesh is also at risk.
As Australia ‘A’ boycotted the tour there was a question mark on the future of this series in South Africa. Many have expected that the series would be turned into a bilateral series between India ‘A’ and South Africa ‘A’.
With ACB decided to send Afghanistan ‘A’ accepting CSA’s invitation now the series will continue as per the schedule. Afghanistan ‘A’ will play the opening match of the tournament against India ‘A’ on July 26 in Pretoria.
“We are delighted that Afghanistan have accepted our invitation and look forward to welcoming them to our country for the very first time,” CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.
“Afghanistan were deservedly granted Full Member status at the ICC annual conference last month after showing impressive growth in recent years. They are a passionate cricket nation and I expect the Afghanistan A team to compete strongly against our A team and India A in the upcoming tri-series,” Lorgat added.
When asked about this tour ACB’s chief executive Shafiqullah Stanikzai, said: “We are very pleased to accept Cricket South Africa’s invitation to participate in the upcoming triangular series. This will be our first-ever visit to South Africa and I am certain that this will give Afghanistan ’A’ team very good exposure to competitive cricket.”
During the series, these three teams will play each twice before the top two teams advance to play the final on August 8.
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