New Delhi: Afghanistan cricket team has shifted its home base from Sharjah to the UPCA stadium in
NOIDA where they will play their matches and practice after an MoU was signed on Thursday in this regard.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding with BCCI and Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) will be able to utilise the facilities of the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex, which has successfully hosted a Ranji Trophy game between Uttar Pradesh and Baroda.
"First of all I would like to thank BCCI and Greater Noida Authority. We compliment the support of BCCI towards Afghanistan cricket development and the commitment they have shown so far is immense. We were trying a lot from the last few years to get some sort of support from BCCI as Afghanistan, you all know, is an emerging nation, which is knocking the door of Test cricket," Shafiq Stanikzai, CEO ACB,
BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur, who also signed the MoU papers in presence of UPCA Secretary Rajeev Shukla, not only gave the new ground a big thumbs but also complimented the Afghanistan team for its recent success.
"Afghanistan have done well in the last two years and to qualify in the World Cup, it showcases their hard-work. And they will play in India and like India played a big hand in Bangladesh becoming a full member, India will also play a big part in Afghanistan becoming a full member as well," Thakur said.
Thakur also insisted that rubbing shoulders with the greats of Indian cricket will certainly open a new world for the young Afghan players.
"Not only they will play their matches here but will also get added support like a chance to get help from top coaches and a chance to rub shoulders with India's best cricketer's. Greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid might not travel to Kabul but can certainly give these players a tip or two when they are in India. So BCCI will certainly help them in every manner," he said.
Shukla said, "I, on behalf of UPCA, welcome this arrangement done by BCCI, Afghanistan Cricket Board as well as Greater Noida Authority. So far they were witnessing Ranji Games, we also plan to have Deodhar Trophy there and now Afghanistan will have their home base there instead of Sharjah.
"So I think it is a good opportunity for all of us. People will also be able to watch international games in the future. We are delighted that everyday five to 10 thousand people watched the Ranji game," Shukla said.