Afghanistan announce home series T20I schedule against Pakistan

Photo: ICC

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Tuesday confirmed its international home season for 2023-24 will begin with a three-match T20I series against Pakistan later this month.

The series will be played in Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, and run from March 25 to March 29.

All three matches will take place in Sharjah, ACB confirmed.

ACB Chairman Mirwais Ashraf said the board appreciates Pakistan Cricket Board’s willingness to play Afghanistan in March. “This is a significant accomplishment for two neighboring countries,” he said.

This comes after Cricket Australia in January canceled its ODI match against Afghanistan that had been scheduled for March in protest over Taliban’s “further restrictions on women’s and girls’ education”.

Soon after Australia’s January 12 announcement, Pakistan’s Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi said that unlike Australia, Pakistan will not pull out of their upcoming series against Afghanistan.

He said at the time that “cricket and politics should be kept separate”.

On Tuesday, Ashraf said in reference to the upcoming series that the board is “hopeful and looking forward to extending our ties with PCB, as well as continuing great partnerships and frequent cricketing assignments with them, which will help us further strengthen our team and our cricket altogether. Overall, we are excited to host and play Pakistan in what will be a thrilling series of cricket games between the two countries.”

Meanwhile, his counterpart at PCB, Najam Sethi said: “I am delighted that the inaugural Pakistan versus Afghanistan T20I series will be played later this month in a city that has a large expat community and which has always supported cricketers from both countries.

“The PCB and ACB enjoy a strong and cordial relationship that goes back to the 1990s. Even today, Afghanistan players are hugely popular in the HBL PSL.

“I am sure when cricketers from both sides will wear national jerseys for the upcoming international series, they will demonstrate the highest levels of performances and entertain the passionate and cricket-loving crowds,” he added.Afghanistan has played Pakistan several times in ACC and ICC events in recent years, but this will be the first time the two countries meet in a three-match T20I series.