Friday, June 23, 2017

ICC announces two new Test nations

Afghanistan and Ireland elevated to Full Member status at ICC conference

Ireland and Afghanistan have both been awarded Test match status, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced Thursday.

The move, which means the two countries become full members of the ICC, cricket's global governing body, expands the number of Test-playing nations from 10 to 12.

Both countries were confirmed as full members after a unanimous vote at an ICC Council meeting in London on Thursday.

It means their men's teams will now be eligible to play five-day Test cricket, widely regarded as the sport's pinnacle format, following a recommendation that their applications met newly approved member criteria.

"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 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."

It's been almost two decades since Bangladesh became the last country to be granted Test status.

But Afghanistan and Ireland have now joined an exclusive club that also includes founder members Australia and England, who played the first Test match at Melbourne in 1877, South Africa, New Zealand, the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

"We are delighted and proud with today’s historic announcement," said Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom.

"It is an extraordinary testament to the talent and endeavour of thousands of passionate players, coaches, volunteers, staff, clubs and committee people."

More to come...

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