|The first Nangarhar Stadium|
It is with great pride that the Afghanistan Cricket Board have announced the further development of the ground at Nangarhar. “It’s a great boost to their cricket, we are all delighted with this good news,” says ACC Development Officer Iqbal Sikander.
Nangarhar, one of the eastern provinces of Afghanistan, (bordering what was formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan) has as its capital Jalalabad, popularly held to be ‘the home of Afghanistan cricket’. Along with the ground in Kabul, this strengthens Afghanistan’s imminent ascension to ICC Associate, and creates more opportunities for domestic first-class cricket. Desire is also strong for Afghanistan to host foreign teams in the country. “We have good facilities, good grounds, good transport and good hotels attached,” says national coach Kabir Khan, “other countries would be happy to have what we have.”
|The ACB Chairman Shahzada Masoud and Chief Executive Dr. Noor Muhammad with Najeeb Zadran at the announcement of the new Nangarhar ground project this week|
The development at Nangarhar centres around a new pavilion and will be Afghanis 44,743,054 (when figures are that exact, you know that plans are finalised), approximately US$874,000, and the Afghanistan Cricket Board will pay 60% of the amount through their Development Fund with the remainder paid for by the private-sector Najeeb Zarab Company.
|The crowd at the inauguration of the existing Nangarhar Stadium in August 2011|
Iqbal Sikander has been a witness to the growth of Afghanistan cricket ever since he first went there in 2003. “In the past ten years the development and spread of cricket in Afghanistan is remarkable. Not just on the playing field but in the nation as a whole where cricket is being understood and played in larger numbers month after month. Success is breeding success,” he says.
Afghanistan Cricket Profile
Filed April 10th, 2013