Noida: Greater Noida Sports complex hosted an international cricket series between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) shifted its base from Sharjah to Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Noida after signing an MoU with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority.
With the country ravaged by instability and tensions, the new home ground in Greater Noida provided a good opportunity for ACB to host international matches.
The players were also happy with the facilities provided to them, “We are feeling very good here. This is the second time we have come here after Kolkata. The wickets, lawns and the people here are very good. We are enjoying here very much,” said Afghanistan team captain Ihsan Ullah Janaat.
The Afghanistan team will stay in Noida till January 17, 2016, for further warm sessions and will also get to interact with the Indian players.
One of the fans supporting Afghanistan team, Abdul Qadeer Mutfi said, “We are happy that India provided home ground to Afghanistan because access to India is very easy for Afghans. Initially, we had home ground in Sharjah and it was a costly city whereas India is better and everyone can join, facilities too are good. Most students are studying here and we are thankful that India provided ground here”.
This was the fourth and final match in which Afghanistan won the series against Zimbabwe by 159 runs and claimed the series 4-0.
Officials from Afghanistan were satisfied with the support from Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and urged further support, “The BCCI supported us like always and we want their support in future as well. We will have much better relations and ties with BCCI and the Indian community” said Tawaf, Manager of Afghanistan Cricket Team.
BCCI also plans to train the cricketers to hone their skills and improve the state of cricket in Afghanistan. “We can do a lot in Afghanistan to promote cricket. There are problems and our efforts can improve the state of cricket there. Even our secretary Anurag Thakur has said that our senior players can share their experience with this young team because Afghanistan team needs some exposure,” said Venkat Sundaram, Executive Secretary of the Sports Complex.
In the last few years, Afghan cricketers have proved their mettle at the world stage, and perhaps, their move to come India will do them a world of good