Islamabad: Pakistan Cricket Board has signed a memorandum of understanding with its Afghanistan counterparts under which it will increase its support for the sport in the neighbouring country.
PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad said that Pakistan want not only to spread cricket in Afghanistan but the new agreement would also increase cooperation between the two countries. "We have always supported and backed Afghanistan cricket because we see great potential in this country to become a major cricket nation," he said. Afghanistan have also reciprocated the support they have got from Pakistan by being the only country to send their cricket team to Pakistan since 2009 after all Test playing nations refused to do so because of security concerns.
International cricket came to a standstill in Pakistan since March 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore and killed six Pakistani policemen and a van driver. Ahmad said under the new agreement, the PCB would provide support to Afghanistan and also oversee the development of the sport in the conflict-ridden country.
The MoU with the Afghanistan Cricket Board was signed by the PCB in Lahore on Saturday under which the ACB has sought technical and professional help, a PCB statement said. Afghanistan, despite being an associate member of the International Cricket Council, have one-day international status and have qualified to play in last two T20 World Cups.
Ahmad said the PCB would not only help Afghanistan train its coaches, umpires, scorers and groundsmen but also assist them in establishing a proper programme. The MoU also allows Afghani players to come and train at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore under specialised coaches and also take part in Pakistan's domestic events.
ACB chief executive Noor Muhammad welcomed Pakistan's support as "utmost importance".