A delegation from the Tajikistan Cricket Federation visit Kabul, September 2013 (left to right) Tajikistan Cricket Federation President Ismat Rustambekova, Tajikistan National Team Manager Naim Navobova, TCF Development Manager Rasool Khan, ACB Chairman Shahzada Masoud, ACB CEO Dr Noor Muhammad

In looking to spread cricket outwards from the centre, to involve more Afghans in the sport that has done so much to unite and harmonize their country, the Afghanistan Cricket Board is developing a relationship with the relatively junior ACC member the Tajikistan Cricket Federation. “We are sending our coaches and umpires to help them, donating cricket equipment and inviting the national team for a fixture against Afghanistan A in November in Nangarhar,” says ACB CEO Dr. Noor Muhammad.

The benefits for Tajikistan, says Federation General Secretary Ahmad Shah – who used to open the batting for Afghanistan during its momentous climb up the global rankings - are self-evident: “Afghanistan is an inspiration to all of us in the region. We see how hard work and dedication and passion and talent can make a team succeed in cricket,“ he says. Tajikistan and Afghanistan share a language, a border and have a long history of trade and commerce with each other and Pakistan. And in the way that Pakistan have supported Afghanistan’s cricketers in the past 20 years, Afghanistan is aiming to do the same for Tajikistan.

“We will benefit ourselves from this program, “ says Dr. Noor. “Our aim is to spread the game out from the centre and the south of Afghanistan to promote the game in the border regions and attract different participation in the regions. This will broaden our reach and give more value to our sponsors and the businessmen who are supporting us,” says the ACB CEO. Next year, Mazar-e-Sharif, close to the border with Tajikistan will host another fixture between the Tajiks and Afghanistan A. “Ours is a long-term contribution to development,” says Dr. Noor, “the more cricketers we can inspire to play in areas that had no contact with cricket before, the more talent will be found for us, the more cricket there will be in the region.”

Tajikistan Cottons On

Filed September 26th, 2013