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Afghanistan to Play First Ever Test Match after Becoming ICC Full Member

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(Last Updated On: June 23, 2017)

Afghanistan and Ireland were granted Test Status by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday at ICC Full Council meeting in London, meaning they have become cricket’s 11th and 12th Test-playing nations.

Afghanistan and Ireland’s boards had applied to the ICC to have their status upgraded from Associates and this was put to vote at the meeting on Thursday and unanimously supported.

 “I’d like to congratulate Afghanistan and Ireland on their Full Membership status which is the result of their dedication to improving performance both off and on the field resulting in the significant development and growth of cricket in their respective countries,” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said.

 “Both have clearly demonstrated they meet the new criteria and as such have made the progression to Full Membership,” Richardson added.

 Afghanistan will now be able to play Test cricket, which is considered the pinnacle or the highest standard in this sporting code. All Full Member nations are automatically qualified to play ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals.

“For a nation like Afghanistan it is a huge and remarkable achievement, the entire nation will be celebrating across all five regions and different provinces, it is the perfect Eid gift,” said Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), Chief Executive, Shafiq Stanikzai.

“Everyone has waited for this news and has been so keen to hear this news. Afghanistan Cricket has gone from strength to strength and we dared to dream that this would happen and today it has become a reality,” Stanikzai added.

Thanking the ICC and the board for the achievement, Stanikzai further said that there is still more work to be done.

“Every achievement is great, but it opens the door to challenges. We’ll be hosting our international matches in Greater Noida and Sharjah, there should be a day when we can host inside Afghanistan,” he said, cited by Espncricinfo.

No Test matches have yet been scheduled for the two newcomers but the ACB Chief Executive stated that Afghanistan will soon play their first ever test match against other Full Members of the ICC.

“I cannot lock the date, but obviously the reputation Afghanistan cricket has, I can say that we will be playing our first ever test match sooner rather than later,” Stanikzai concluded.  

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Pakistan’s customs agent says exports to Afghanistan dwindle

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2021)

Hundreds of trucks lined the winding, mountainous road leading to Torkhum, the Pakistan-Afghan border crossing on Thursday.

Pakistani officials say that is because exports to Afghanistan have dwindled in the days after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) take over.

But some truck drivers were upbeat because they said the vegetable and fruit season in Afghanistan had helped increase exports of these items from the war-ravaged country.

Another Pakistani official at another Pakistan-Afghan border Chaman said trade had picked up because the IEA government had reduced taxes, and also put an end to bribes that traders and truck drivers had to pay to cross the border.

Afghan new government bolstered its economic team last week, naming a commerce minister and two deputies as the group tries to revive a financial system in shock from the abrupt end to billions of dollars in foreign aid.

Underlining the economic pressures building on Afghanistan’s new government, prices for staples like flour, fuel, and rice have risen and long queues are still forming outside banks as they strictly ration withdrawals.

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Five climbers die in snowstorm on Russia’s Mount Elbrus

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2021)

Five climbers died after they got caught in a sudden snowstorm on Russia’s Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, officials said.

The other 14 members of the party were rescued on the peak in the Caucasus Mountains in high winds and low visibility amid temperatures of minus -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit), the regional emergency ministry said.

The group of Russian climbers sent out a mayday call just after 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) on Thursday, the ministry added. Eleven of the survivors were taken to hospital.

One woman fell ill and died in the arms of one of the guides, Denis Alimov, who helped organise the climb, told TASS news agency.

Another climber broke his leg as he was coming down and the party decided to split into three groups depending on who could go fastest, Alimov told TASS.

“As they descended, two more people died in one of the groups. But the decision to split up was the right one, otherwise there might have been more casualties.”

Guides with the group suffered frostbite and other injuries, Alimov was quoted as saying.

Mount Elbrus, which rises to 5,642 metres (18,510 feet) just north of the border with Georgia, is infamous for sudden changes in weather and climbing conditions.

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IEA’s defence minister orders crackdown on abuses

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2021)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s acting new defence minister has issued a rebuke over misconduct by some commanders and fighters following the IEA’s victory over the Western-backed government in Afghanistan last month, saying abuses would not be tolerated, Reuters reported.

According to the report Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob said in an audio message that some “miscreants and notorious former soldiers” had been allowed to join Taliban units where they had committed a range of sometimes violent abuses.

“We direct you keep them out of your ranks, otherwise strict action will be taken against you,” he stated. “We don’t want such people in our ranks.”

The message from one of the IEA’s most senior ministers underlines the problems Afghanistan’s new rulers have sometimes had in controlling fighting forces as they transition from an insurgency to a peacetime administration, the report said.

Some Kabul residents have complained of abusive treatment at the hands of IEA forces who have appeared on the streets of the capital, often from other regions and unused to big cities.

There have also been reports of reprisals against members of the former government and military or civil society activists, despite promises of an amnesty by the IEA.

Yaqoob said there had been isolated reports of unauthorized executions, and he repeated that such actions would not be tolerated.

“As you all are aware, under the general amnesty announced in Afghanistan, no mujahid has the right to take revenge on anyone,” he said.

Reuters said that it was not clear precisely which incidents he was referring to, nor what prompted the message, which was published on IEA Twitter accounts and widely shared on social media.

There have been reports of tensions within the IEA between hardline battlefield commanders and political leaders more willing to seek compromise with governments outside Afghanistan, report said

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