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Oman cricket ground gets ICC approval for Test matches

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: January 6, 2021)

The ICC has approved the use of the Oman Cricket Academy Ground 1 at Al Amarat, Oman, for Test match cricket.

According to Emerging Cricket, the accreditation comes ahead of a planned series between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe next month.

Afghanistan is exploring the use of Al Amarat as a surrogate home venue.

OCA Ground 1 is one of two grounds that make up the Oman Cricket Academy at Al Amarat. The two grounds have already hosted several international events, both T20I and ODI.

The accreditation to host test cricket is a further boost to cricket in the Sultanate.

Oman Cricket Secretary Mahdu Jesrani said in a press release that “this is a big news and a wonderful achievement for Oman Cricket. The New Year has started on such a promising note for the Sultanate.

“Apart from UAE, Oman is the only other Associate nation to enjoy Test, ODI and T20I status. This is a very proud moment for us all,” he said.

Afghanistan have been unable to host international cricket on home soil due to security concerns but between 2010 and 2016, Afghanistan played all “home” internationals in Sharjah, UAE.

Since ascending to full ICC membership, Afghanistan has played home games at various venues in India but with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in India, the ACB has sought new home venues, including a return to the UAE, Emerging Cricket reported.

The upcoming ODI Super League series against Ireland had been scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi. However, with the Afghanistan team struggling to secure visas until Tuesday, Al Amarat was tipped as a replacement.

However, although the UAE will now host the Ireland series as planned, the ACB look set to favour Oman as a more permanent surrogate home, Emerging Cricket reported.


Afghanistan wins by 16 runs in first of three ODIs against Ireland

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: January 21, 2021)

Afghanistan got off to a flying start in their first ODI against Ireland in Abu Dhabi on Thursday after they won the toss and opted to bat first.

The Afghanistan opening pair of Rahmanullah Gurbaz – a 19-year-old on ODI debut – and Javed Ahmadi put on 120 for the first wicket before Ireland’s Andy McBrine accounted for Ahmadi, who found Simi Singh in the deep after a period of sustained pressure.

That breakthrough sparked somewhat of a middle-order collapse at the hands of McBrine, whose wickets reduced Afghanistan from 120-0 to 161-5 in the space of 10 overs.

Fortunately for Afghanistan, Rahmanullah displayed a kind of maturity that belied his relative inexperience, as the youngster held firm as wickets fell at the other end, Cricket World reported.

Rahmanullah – who was the player of the series in the three-match T20I series between the two sides in 2020 – eventually brought up his maiden ODI hundred in the 35th over, before accelerating to finish on 127, a knock that came at exactly a run per ball.

Rahmanullah’s effort seemed to inspire the Afghanistan lower-order who rallied after the centurion’s dismissal, to take their side from 198-7 to an imposing final total of 287-9 from their 50 overs with the majority of their late innings run-scoring coming off the blade of Rashid Khan, who blasted a 30-ball 55 from No.9.

Afghanistan kept a tight hold on Ireland’s run chase throughout. Right-arm quick Naveen-ul-Haq took two important early wickets, first trapping O’Brien lbw for one before deceiving Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie with a slower ball for 15, reported Cricket World.

Paul Stirling and Harry Tector brought up a 50-run partnership for the third wicket before both fell in quick succession, as Tector spooned a return catch to Gulbadin off another slower ball before Nabi pinned Stirling in front for 39.

With Ireland 88-4, a rebuilding job was required. Curtis Campher and Lorcan Tucker combined to put on 86 for the fifth wicket before the former eventually fell lbw to Mujeeb Ur Rahman for 39.

Tucker kicked on, though. He soon brought up a second career ODI half-century and raced past his previous career-best ODI score of 56; he eventually fell on 83, stumped trying to use his feet against Rashid as the asking rate climbed. As assured an innings it was, it wasn’t quite enough for Ireland as they eventually fell 16 runs short.

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Three-match ODI series sees Afghanistan take on Ireland

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: January 21, 2021)

A big stand-off is building as the first of a three-match ODI series gets underway between Afghanistan and Ireland on Thursday.

These three matches form part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.

Last time Afghanistan and Ireland met in an ODI was 21 May 2019 in Belfast, where the visitors won by 126 runs.

The Afghans were also the team to cut Ireland’s World Cup dreams short three years ago when they knocked them out in the qualifiers back in 2018. Afghanistan have not played an International match since March 2020.

An unofficial warm-up match was played between the two sides last weekend, providing a chance for the teams to size each other up. It could prove to be a useful exercise in deciphering the opposition ahead of the match.

Andrew Balbirnie, Ireland captain, said: “We’re fully confident that we play good cricket and that we can come away with 30 points, but we’re going to have to do it (play good cricket) for all three games – they come thick and fast, but that’s what everyone is here for: we’re here to get 30 points and if we don’t come away with that, we’ll be disappointed.”

The first ODI between the two teams gets underway Thursday at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

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Bamiyan youth take to the slopes in first skiing contest of the season 

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

Dozens of men and women took part in Friday’s Peace and Friendship Cup ski challenge at the Shahid Mazari slope in Bamiyan province. 

Organized by the Eagle Sports Club and the Sports Directorate of Bamiyan province, the aim of the contest was to promote peace and friendship. 

According to Afzal Noori, the head of Eagle Sports Club, more than 60 athletes participated in three categories, including eight women, in the first ski contest of 2021.

Winners were Zahra Noori in the women’s section, Mujtaba in the youth category and  Mohammad Amin in the teenager section.

Hundreds of spectators also braved the icy weather to watch the competitors taken on the slope in the foothills of Baba mountain close to Bamiyan city. 

The young ski enthusiasts welcomed the chance to compete but said the lack of suitable facilities such as ski lifts were a challenge. 

They said they have repeatedly spoken to government officials about the problems but nothing has yet been done to develop the sport. 

Sayed Ishaq Hashemi, the director of physical education and sports in Bamiyan, confirmed the challenges and the lack of standard facilities for skiers in the province and appealed to the International Ski Federation for help. 

Friday’s competitors meanwhile said Bamiyan youth are calling on the world to unite with them to end the war and violence in Afghanistan by holding ski contests to promote peace. 

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