By Muhammad Asif Khan
KARACHI: Former Head coach of the Afghanistan national Cricket team, Rashid Latif, while welcoming the recent grant announcement, urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to create an opportunity for frequent international fixtures for the ‘passionate’ Afghan team as well. “Along with funds, they [Afghan cricketers] also need support to excel at the international level. The ICC should arrange international tours for the team”, said Latif while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.
“Afghan team is a bunch of passionate cricketers, who can be very good at test level too if provided with appropriate support”, added Latif
Earlier this week, the ICC allocated US$ 422,000 for Afghanistan, from the ICC's Targeted Assistance and Performance Programme (TAPP), which is aimed at developing more competitive teams among Full Members and Associate/Affiliate Members.
As per the ICC press release, this funding for the ACB was for the development of the National Cricket Academy in Kabul and is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions.
Rashid Latif, while recalling his experience in the war-ravaged country, said that during his stint as coach he was highly impressed with the talent and enthusiasm for Cricket in Afghanistan.
“I was eyeing a Test status for them in two years time, and I still believe it’s not very far from reality. The more exposure they will get, the more confident they will become”, said Latif
“Matches against county teams as well with test playing nations will enhance their skills as well as confidence”, concludes Rashid Latif.
The writer is a Pakistani sports journalist, heads the sports department at News One TV & tweets @mak_asif