Ireland and Afghanistan are set to gain long-waited Test status from International Cricket Council (ICC) in the upcoming annual meeting in London this week.
Ireland and Afghanistan are the top nations in associate cricket. They have shocked big teams several times in their history. They have taken part in big tournaments like World Cups and World T20s.
Afghanistan made international debut in 2009 and are already showing big performances on the big stages. They beat West Indies in 2016 World T20. The Afghans defeated the same team in an ODI match in Saint Lucia few days ago. They defeated Bangladesh twice in ODIs. The Afghan board is now excited to get Test status.
“A committee is working inside the cricket board, and we will work on our proposal to present it to the ICC in the future, and hopefully full membership and Test status are on the way,” chairman of the Afghan cricket board, Atef Mashal told AFP during a recent interview.
“We can not give any time frame at the moment, it is upon the ICC, they will decide when to give Afghanistan the Test status, and it is not in our hands.
“Afghanistan deserves Test status because their performances are good. Once they get to play Tests, more and more players will come forward just like happened in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — Kenya suffered because they were not awarded.
“I think it will be the ICC’s best decision of the century,” he added.
“For any team to make its mark, it takes a while to really get a hang of it no matter how good you are at the shorter versions.
“It’s extremely important to provide Test status for Afghanistan and perhaps Ireland, because it is also a virtuous circle.”
Ireland have a long history. The The old Irish Cricket Union was founded in 1855 — Phoenix Cricket Club, founded 25 years earlier, is one of the oldest in the British Isles. They dismissed West Indies for 25 runs at Sion Mills on July 2, 1969. That match was recorded on television.
Ireland have created several surprises since they made their World Cup debut in 2007. They have wins against Bangladesh, England, Zimbabwe and West Indies in World Cup matches.
It will be glorious for Ireland and Afghanistan when they get Test status.
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com