Dubai: The International Cricket Council’s targeted assistance and performance programme allocated provided Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) with funds amounting to USD 422 000 ( 22 400 000 AFN approx.). The grant was approved at IDI – ICC Development International – board meeting held in Dubai on Wednesday 17th April 2013.
The money is to be given over three years time period, and is aimed to develop competitive teams among ICC Full Associate and Affiliate members. Previously ICC provided monetary assistance to countries such as West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Neitherland and Scotland through similar programs.
As per ICC’s statement, the fund will go towards the development of a National Cricket Academy in Kabul. ACB Chief Executive Officer, Noor Mohammad Murad, mentioned that the board had requested a total of USD 1 million in assistance. “The ICC approved $422,000 for now. They will send a delegation to visit the ACB in two or three weeks, and will decide [from there] whether or not to approve the rest of the money,” Murad told reporters.
In 2001 Afghanistan became an Affiliate member of the ICC. They took 8 years to attain One-day status in 2009, which is valid till 2015. In the year 2012, the Asian Cricket Council nominated Afghanistan for Associate membership with the ICC. The request will be looked into at annual conference of ICC in June.
The ACB is undergoing an organizational reform in a bid to find better leadership and qualified staff to run cricket administration in the war-torn country. The Pakistan Cricket Board came to their rescue even before ICC did when they signed a two-year deal with ACB to help develop Afghanistan cricket ahead of the 2015 World Cup.