Afghans meet Aussies

Sharjah is ready to host the Afghanistan-Australia one-day international on August 25.This will be Afghanistan’s second ODI against a Full Member, following the game against Pakistan, at the same venue, in February this year.

By Liaqat Ali

Published: Thu 16 Aug 2012, 1:01 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:48 PM

The match is creating a lot of excitement and buzz in both the countries.

Australians are curious to know about the Afghans as cricketers and on the other hand the Afghans want to gain experience by competing against the top teams of the world. It is a good initiative and it will go a long way in developing cricket in a war-torn country like Afghanistan.

Mazhar Khan, coordinator of Sharjah Cricket Club, while talking to Khaleej Times said: “The match will be the first ever to be played over ‘two days’, thus creating history of sort at the historic venue.

It will be the 205th match to be played at the stadium. The match begins at 6pm to avoid the searing afternoon heat and finish at around 1.45am the next day if it goes the full distance.

Being held under the auspices of the Emirates Cricket Board, the match will provide a great opportunity for the Afghanistan team to showcase their skills to the world at the historic venue, which has already entered the Guinness World Records for staging the most number of ODI games.”

It was a magnanimous gesture by Abdul Rehman Bukhatir by allowing Afghanistan to use the Sharjah Cricket Stadium as their home ground.

Afghanistan has very limited facilities to play cricket. Sharjah has played a part in grooming the Afghan cricketers as they have been playing their ODIs and first-class matches for the past four years at the venue.

It will be the first time Afghanistan will be up against Australia, the former No 1 ODI side.

Sharjah always draws big crowds and hopefully this match will be a complete sellout.

This match will be followed by high-profile Australia-Pakistan series. Pakistan will take on Australia on August 28 in their first match of the ODI series. The series is presented by Bank Al Falah for the Cool and Cool Cup.

“The matches will have already created a global buzz and we look forward to welcoming the teams for what we believe will be absorbing contests,” said Waleed Bukhatir, vice chairman, Sharjah Cricket Club. “Afghanistan, in particular, have shown great improvement and it will be interesting to watch how they tackle the might of Australia. Whatever the outcome, the experience of playing against a top-ranked team will go a long way in honing the competitive edge of the Afghanistan team,” he added

“We are grateful to Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and chairman of ECB, for all his initiatives in supporting cricket. Today, the Sharjah Cricket Stadium is a household name and we do expect to host more such international games in the near future,” said Waleed Bukhatir.

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