Pakistan invite Afghanistan for first official cricket tour
LAHORE: Pakistan have invited Afghanistan's national cricket team on a recognised tour for the first time, officials said Tuesday, following a visit to Kabul by Prime Minister Imran Khan. "We'll try to look for a possible window for this tour, and if not 2021, we’ll definitely try to plan a series in 2022 season," said Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Wasim Khan. "A cricket series between Pakistan and Afghanistan could be a harbinger of love and peace between the two countries," he told AFP. An Afghan national side toured Pakistan in May 2011, although they only played a second-string side and matches were not given first-class status. Before entering politics, the Oxford-educated Khan was one of the world's leading cricketers, a destructive all-rounder with a devastating ability to swing the ball and brutally attack the opposition's bowling. As a member of world cricket's second tier, Afghanistan's usual opponents are teams such as Ireland, Scotland and Hong Kong. Most Afghans only became familiar with the game from the 1980s, when millions were exiled as refugees near Peshawar, just 50 kilometres (36 miles) from their border. "A strong Afghanistan means a strong Asian block... so Pakistan will continue to play its part and help Afghan cricket," said Wasim. Afghanistan are scheduled to host Pakistan for three one-day internationals in September 2021, as part of World Cup 2023 Super League, most likely to be played in the United Arab Emirates. - AFP