Players/Officials: Raees Ahmadzai
In a bid to help develop Afghanistan’s domestic cricket infrastructure and to secure its cricketing future, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has announced an organisational review to provide better leadership and find qualified staff to run cricket administration in the war-torn country in the long run.
As part of its review, the board has reappointed Hamid Shinwari as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Nasimullah Danish is the Deputy CEO. Raees Ahmadzai has been appointed as the senior advisor to the Player Selection Committee, while Khair Mohammad is its Finance Manager.
Afghanistan is currently an Affiliate member of the ICC and the ACB hopes that the review will prompt the ICC to grant them the status of an Associate member, and with it, provide extra ICC funding. “The [organisational] change is obvious as we are growing,” ACB spokesman Nasratullah Wafa told ESPNcricinfo. “The game has to survive and we have to find talent and keep the circle rolling. We need more resources for development, so we have decided to fill the vacant positions that will help us to build up [our cricket infrastructure].”
At present the ICC provides about $700,000 a year in funding. Based on current distributions, that will rise by around $150,000 once Associate status is assured. The ACB hopes cricket is promoted and marketed in a better manner after the review. “We must ensure new impetus is taken for the development of domestic cricket, the marketing and fundraising is improved and our international relations and partnerships are strengthened,” Wafa said.
Afghanistan’s national team has performed impressively in the last five years, moving up from Division five of the World Cricket League in 2008 to Division One today. In Twenty20 cricket, Afghanistan have already beaten several Full Member nations and are ranked ninth, ahead of Zimbabwe and the currently unranked Bangladesh. “Afghanistan isn’t dreaming of overnight success but we are taking small steps to mark our presence in the world through which we can give a message of peace,” Wafa said. “The game is becoming very popular within the country.”