The Afghanistan Cricket Board are working with the country’s Education Ministry on a plan to make cricket a compulsory part of physical education in schools. "We want to develop cricket in a proper way, and schools will be a big project. If we succeed in developing cricket in schools, we are quite sure that we will get good players in the country. And it will have a social value as well, especially for those who love this game but don't get a chance to play," says Board High Performance Manager Bashir Stanikzai.

Schools in five (velayat) provinces out of 34 in the country will be the initial beneficiaries of the scheme, starting in January, Kabul, Kandahar, Khost, Konduz, and Nangarhar. By the end of 2013, the project is expected to expand into six more provinces. "We hope these schools will be a success story and serve as a role model to the rest of the country," says Mr. Stanikzai.
"We are sending cricket kits for students that consist of plastic bats and balls, and other cricket equipment especially made for children," he adds. Such is the popularity of the sport among the young (75% of those aged under 25 in a recent nationwide survey said they liked cricket) that students often know more about the rules of the game than their teachers.

NGOs, the MCC and numerous charitable groups have been donating equipment and paying for facilities across the country.

Afghanistan Cricket Profile

Filed January 11th, 2013