Image courtesy of: NDTV
Afghanistan were beaten by seven wickets in their last encounter with Pakistan
Afghanistan will be looking for redemption when they face Pakistan in a one-off Twenty20 International on December 8 in Sharjah after they were beaten by the Pakistanis in a one-off ODI in February 2012 by seven wickets.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) have announced that the match is a result of the Memorandum of Understanding they signed with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which states that Pakistan will aid them in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup.
“We are excited by the opportunity to play against a Full Member nation,” ACB chief executive Noor Mohammad Murad said. “Win or lose, the experience gained by our players will be absolutely invaluable.
“One of the issues for Afghanistan cricket in recent years has been that we are among the top teams of the Associate and Affiliate members and we tend to win a high percentage of our matches against them. Our national team needs the challenge of playing against some of the elite cricket teams like Pakistan and Australia, in order to raise their performance level. So far only Pakistan and Australia have given us this opportunity, but we are hoping that more Full Member nations will follow their example.”
Afghanistan have played four Twenty20 Internationals against Full Member nations, including South Africa, India and England, but all of those matches came during the 2010 and 2012 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20.
Outside of ICC tournaments, Afghanistan have only played a one-off ODI with Pakistan and Australia.
While Afghanistan are still looking for their maiden win against a Full Member nation, Murad is confident that they will not have to wait much longer.
“We believe we can give the Pakistan team a good run for its money,” he said. “T20 is one of our strengths and last year we gave India a scare in the World T20. We hope to give the Pakistan team a strong challenge and, who knows, maybe even more than that.”