Presidents Karzai and Rajapakse in Colombo, March 7 2014, on the occasion of the Afghanistan Premier's state visit to Sri Lanka

A "Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Sports", one of four MoUs signed between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka during a recent visit by a delegation headed by President Hamid Karzai to the island nation is in effect. Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Dr. Noor Muhmmad Murad who was part of the delegation after travelling from Bangladesh where he attended the Arise Asia Cup said: "The agreement with Sri Lanka comes at just the right time for Afghanistan. Over this year we will be preparing for the World Cup 2015 and every bit of support is immensely important."

Agreed between the two governments soon after President Karzai suggested to President Rajapakse, “if Sri Lanka can provide us good coaching to defeat all other countries but Sri Lanka”, the MOU at present is a very broad one. For the past seven years Sri Lanka have regularly provided training facilities to Afghanistan (as well as other ACC Associate and Affiliate members). The most recent instance being for a month this year prior to the Arise Asia Cup, a period Afghanistan spent working particularly hard on its fitness.

On the flight back from Colombo to Kabul at the end of the three-day state visit President Karzai asked Dr. Noor to return to Sri Lanka in the near future and address the issue in more detail with Sri Lanka Cricket. “We will be looking to implement a development strategy using Sri Lankan knowledge and are going to try and arrange some ODI matches with Sri Lanka,” says Dr. Noor.

Afghanistan and Sri Lanka bilateral agreements
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Afghanistan’s Cricket Diplomacy

Filed March 13th, 2014