New ACC members Tajikistan have played three matches in Afghanistan, two 50-over matches and a Twenty20 against Afghanistan A. And have done rather well. On what was described as “a learning tour” by Tajikistan Cricket Federation Secretary General Ahmadshah Ahmadi, the visitors performed quite creditably.

Tajikistan may have had former Afghanistan opener Ahmadshah himself in their line-up, but Afghanistan A were full of players who have played for the senior team and were pressing to impress. As such, only wins would do for the home side and they delivered, winning the first two one-dayers by 133 runs and 80 runs and then the T20 by four wickets, chasing 138. The games were played at the developing Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Cricket Stadium in the eastern city of Jalalabad and were attended by crowds of several thousand. In a gesture that showed the friendship between the sides, Afghanistan A winning captain and Player of the Series Javed Ahmadi gave away the series trophy to the visiting Tajiks.

Javed Ahmadi and Ahmedshah Ahmadi, winners both, with ACB Chairman Shahzada Masoud and Nangarhar Deputy Governor Mohammad Hanif Gardiwal

Beyond the results and the extension of the symbiotic relationship between the two countries, Tajikistan’s tour marked the first visit by a foreign team to Afghanistan. Dr Noor Mohammad Murad, the ACB Chief Executive, hailed the tour by the Tajikistan team as a major development and hoped other nations would follow suit and is quoted as saying "the Afghanistan Cricket Board is now capable of hosting foreign teams." He said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kenya were willing to send their squads to Afghanistan. Talks in this regard were recently held, added Dr. Noor.

Tajikistan Cottons On

Filed January 23rd, 2014