Afghanistan are looking to make Pakistan their home base over the next five years
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) have announced that the national team will spend four weeks in Pakistan for a conditioning camp ahead of their series against Scotland in March.
The ACB also stated that they are contemplating making Pakistan the team base for the next five years.
During their conditioning camp at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, Afghanistan will train under the watchful eyes of Pakistan’s coaches and their own head coach Kabir Khan.
In order to prepare them for Scotland, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have already organised 12 matches for Afghanistan, which will see them face various regional teams, as well as Pakistan A.
Afghanistan will hold ODI status till 2015 and have been using Sharjah Cricket Stadium as their ‘home’ ground since there is a lack of cricketing facilities in their own country, which is currently in the middle of a war.
“The idea is play and train with the quality cricketing structure in Pakistan,” Khan said. “Sharjah gave us basic facilities but unfortunately we didn’t find quality cricket to develop with. We need quality programmes and Pakistan, with a rich cricketing background, can help us. Apart from the cricketing aspect, the cost of being in Sharjah is a lot more than here in Pakistan.
“We are in process of building our infrastructure (in Afghanistan) and have two stadiums as well. But we don’t have academies, if we have academies then we don’t have specialised coaches. In Pakistan we can find the quality coaches and quality teams to play with. We are here with the top 22 cricketers from Afghanistan including the budding talent from the Under-19 circuit. Only three of our top cricketers – Shapoor Zadran, Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari – (are not here) have gone to play in Bangladesh Premier League.”
This will be Afghanistan’s third trip to Pakistan in two years after having been whitewashed 3-0 in an ODI series against them in May 2011.
As of right now, the deal to make Pakistan the home base for Afghanistan over the next five years is still in its infancy stages, but according to reports, both the PCB and ACB have verbally agreed to a long-term deal.
“We are working out a deal that will help Afghanistan’s cricketers in their development,” PCB director for game development Intikhab Alam said. “Another idea in the pipeline is to induct their team in our domestic one-day and Twenty20 tournaments, as that would be a good opportunity for their development process.”
Afghanistan will host Scotland for two ODIs at the Sharjah Stadium before squaring off against them once again in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Championship.