One of the roads to further cricket in Afghanistan

Recent years have seen a strengthening of the ‘Strategic Partnership Agreement’ between Afghanistan and India, signed during President Karzai's state visit in October 2011. The latest manifestation of a $2 billion aid pledge by India is a grant of $1 million for the construction of a new cricket stadium in Kandahar Province, in Afghanistan's south. Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Dr. Noor Muhammad says the "facility will allow greater developments in terms of coaching and performance as well as regular competitions. The players and tens of thousands of fans in that region will benefit."

The ground will be part of a new development in one of Kandahar city’s most upscale suburbs, Aino Mina, on land donated to the Afghanistan Cricket Board in 2012. Dr. Noor says that “Kandahar is an important centre for cricket and the game is already very popular there.”

Ghazi Amanullah Khan Stadium in Jalalabad

The funding was granted under the Indian Government’s Small Development Project Scheme and is the result of discussions which have taken place over the past two years. The announcement of the grant included the following statement by the Indian Embassy in Kabul: “We hope that this new facility, and the various initiatives taken by ACB, will further popularise cricket and bring greater glory to the nation. This was a project that ACB has been closely following with us and we will be working with them to have the work started on this important project at the earliest.”

Afghanistan currently has more than 80 grounds of various sizes across the country – mostly in the south, east and Kabul. Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Stadium was the first full-sized stadium to be built in Afghanistan in Jalalabad, Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan in 2011. Construction took one year, the first phase costing US$1.8 million, with a further phase of construction started in 2013, taking in a pavilion, player accommodation and offices costing US 874,00. The ACB Indoor Academy, partially funded by the ICC’s Targeted Assistance Performance Programme is currently nearing completion.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board also has MoUs with Pakistan and Sri Lanka to assist cricket.

Afghanistan Cricket Profile

Filed August 12th, 2014