Afghanistan will tour West Indies for an eight-match limited overs series next June, marking the first time the International Cricket Association (ICC) associate nation will face the Caribbean side in a full series.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board announced yesterday that the Asian side would play the Windies in five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 Internationals starting mid-June, but revealed no specific dates.
For the Afghans, it will be only their third full series against a Full ICC Member, following similar tours against Zimbabwe last year. ACB chief executive, Shafiq Stanikazi, said the tour would be a crucial one for them.
“This is a major series with very attractive teams featuring some of the world’s best players,” he pointed out.
“We look forward to some very entertaining cricket in T20s and ODIs. On behalf of Afghanistan Cricket Board, I am very thankful to West Indies Cricket Board for agreeing to be hosts for the series.”
ACB chairman, Nasimullah Danish, said facing a nation with the calibre of West Indies would be a boost to Afghanistan.
“Playing with the Twenty20 champions will boost technical prospects for us,” he noted.
Afghanistan made a bold statement during the Twenty20 World Cup in India last March when they stunned eventual champions West Indies by six runs in Nagpur, in the first-ever meeting between the two teams in an international.
The success came against the backdrop of positive results last year when they beat Zimbabwe in limited overs series in Harare and in Sharjah.
West Indies Cricket Board chief executive, Michael Muirhead, said the upcoming series was a welcomed one.
“This series will add to the variety of cricket our teams will be playing for the next year and we are happy to be able to have teams visit the region to add exposure for all our players,” he was quoted as saying.
West Indies are currently ranked eighth in ODIs, two spots above Afghanistan, and are third in the T20I rankings, with the Afghans lying ninth.