Afghanistan are the eighth Asian region nation to become ICC Associates and the 37th overall. “Afghanistan is the only country that receives the associate membership in a short period of time in reward to the efforts Afghanistan made for the promotion of cricket, said Afghanistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Dr. Noor Muhammad from the ICC Annual Conference in London. “We appreciate all your valuable effort for making this possible and I would like to thank and appreciate all ACC colleagues for their kind support.”

Afghanistan join Hong Kong (1969), Kuwait (2005), Malaysia (1967), Nepal (1996), Singapore (1974), Thailand (2005) and UAE (1990) as ICC Associates from the Asian region. Their rise to what is now the official second tier of ICC membership, has been swift and unprecedented. Ten years ago they were raw, five years ago they were talented on the field, less so off it, now they have polish and accomplishments as cricketers and administrators, with two World Twenty20s reached, as well as three U19 World Cups. And they’ve won at every level of ACC competition there is. “It is a tremendous achievement by Afghanistan, the current administrators have worked very hard to advance Afghanistan’s interests and much credit goes to Dr. Noor and his team at the Afghanistan Cricket Board,” says ACC Development Manager Bandula Warnapura.

National squad practice. Kabul, 2003 ACC Twenty20 2013 Winners

Whenever they bring home ACC or ICC silverware the fanfare in Kabul is loud, long and gleeful, now that their achievements have received further approval – ICC Associate status means not only more funding but it is recognition of the soundness of Afghanistan’s domestic cricket and development potential – the celebrations may well be the most joyful yet. It’s not a trophy but it is a triumph.

Afghanistan Cricket Profile

Filed June 28th, 2013