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Afghanistan all set for Tuesday's encounter against MCC

Afghanistan all set for Tuesday's encounter against MCC

Jul 08, 2017 - 11:02

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok):  The Afghanistaninfo-icon national cricket team would strive to win its first-ever match against the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) at Lord’s in London on Tuesday.

The MCC team would be captained by Brendon McCullum, former New Zealand skipper in the 50 over game, said a statement from the Afghan Connection Group.

Other MCC players would be include two other former international captains, Kumar Sangakkara, of Sri Lanka, and Misbah ul-Haq of Pakistaninfo-icon.  The Afghan team would include the highly respected all-rounder, Mohammad Nabi, and the 18-year-old prodigy, Rashid Khan.

The rise of the Afghan national cricket team has been phenomenal over recent years.  Most notably, as the match at Lord’s approached, Afghanistan has been confirmed as a full member of the elite group of ICC (International Cricket Council) Test Match nations.

President of MCC Matthew Fleming has had close connections with Afghan cricket, and was a very keen supporter of the game there.  “I have visited Afghanistan and seen the enthusiasm and skill of so many players there, both of senior teams, and of boys and girls too,” he said.

MCC has supported Afghan cricket since 2009.  “MCC supports the game there by funding cricket pitches and helping with coaching, not least of children all around the country.  We do this through working with Afghan Connection, a charity which had already become successfully involved with supporting Afghan cricket,” says Matthew Fleming.

“Afghans love cricket so much,” says Dr Sarah Fane, Founder and CEO of Afghan Connection. “But they hardly have any equipment. So Afghan Connection made a delivery to the national team and began supporting grassroots cricket around the country for the young. 

"Within a year MCC began backing Afghan cricket through Afghan Connection’s projects.  Since 2009 this has led to 100 cricket pitches being built, serving well over 100,000 Afghan children, as well as provision of equipment and coaching for them.”

Since 2002, the Afghan Connection has funded the construction of nearly 50 schools in remote areas of northern Afghanistan, serving about 75,000 boys and girls in almost equal numbers, along with training programmes for over 900 teachers. 

“Afghan kids love going to school. And cricket has become such a large part in the lives of so many,” said Dr Fane.


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