India To Host Afghanistan’s Debut Test
India To Host Afghanistan’s Debut Test: Indian Primer Minister Narendra Modi had words of encouragement for the Afghanistan cricket team as they brace for their Test debut today on Thursday.
After impressing in the limited-overs format, Afghanistan will start their much-awaited maiden Test journey when Ashgar Stanikzai’s side step on the field against Ajinkya Rahane’s Team India in Bengaluru.
PM Modi wrote a letter to the Afghanistan cricket team, saying it’s a matter of pride for India to be hosting them in their debut Test. “It is a matter of great pride and immense pleasure that Afghanistan has chosen to play its maiden Test match with India,” wrote Modi.
“Today, cricket is a unifying force for the people of Afghanistan. India takes pride in being shoulder-to-shoulder with Afghanistan in this journey. It is an honour for India to host the Afghan national team at home ground in Greater Noida and Dehradun,” he added.
Thursday is a big day for Afghanistan Cricket, as the national cricket team will play its inaugural cricket Test match against top-ranked India in Bengaluru – an event that has been 17 years in the making.
From being a part of the ICC World Cricket League Division Five in 2008 to achieving Full Member status in 2017, Afghanistan’s cricket team has gone from strength to strength. The war-torn country, which did not have a national team till as recently as 2001, is now preparing to step into the limelight of a five-day Test match for the first time.
Despite Afghanistan playing only their maiden Test match, stand-in Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane has said his side will not take the visitors lightly. Afghanistan, who have fast established themselves as a force to reckon with in the shorter formats, will become the 12th side to feature in men’s Test cricket after Ireland debuted against Pakistan last month.
Both Ireland and Afghanistan were granted Full Member and Test status last June. Speaking on the eve of their historic one-off Test match against Afghanistan, Rahane said that as a team, they would try to be ruthless, but could not take their opponents lightly even if it is the tourists’ first game on the big stage.
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