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Afghanistan and Bangladesh set for exciting white-ball series in Greater Noida this July

The Afghanistan cricket team will return to the Shahid Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida after four years to host Bangladesh for a limited-overs series. The teams will compete in three ODIs and three T20Is from July 25 to August 6, marking a significant event for Afghanistan cricket.

Afghanistan and Bangladesh set for exciting white-ball series in Greater Noida this July osf
First Published Jun 21, 2024, 6:08 PM IST

According to a report in Times of India, The BCCI has allotted two venues in Greater Noida and Kanpur—to the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) as new ‘home grounds.’ Afghanistan will return to the Shahid Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida after four years for its limited-overs home series against Bangladesh in July.

According to the tentative itinerary, the two teams will feature in three ODIs and as many T20Is between July 25 and August 6. The Bangladesh team is scheduled to arrive in Greater Noida via New Delhi on July 22 and will have a couple of days of training sessions before playing their first ODI. While there will be a one-day gap between the ODIs, the T20I series will be played under lights from August 2.

The Greater Noida venue, which once served as the home base for the Afghanistan team, last hosted an international fixture in March 2020, just days before a nationwide lockdown was announced due to COVID-19. Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Afghanistan team played its ‘home’ games mostly in the United Arab Emirates. However, on the sidelines of the ODI World Cup last year, ACB officials initiated discussions with the BCCI and expressed their keenness to play their home games in India again.

“We have closely worked with the BCCI to resume our hosting agreement, making this series possible after a long break,” Naseeb Khan, the CEO of ACB, told Sportstar.

“The BCCI has allotted us two grounds—one in Kanpur and the other in Greater Noida. Since we have played at Greater Noida in the past, we decided to host the series against Bangladesh there,” Khan added.

While ACB officials are exploring other grounds in India, they have signed a contract with the BCCI for the Greater Noida and Kanpur facilities for now.

“Moving forward, the ACB plans to host more events at various grounds across India, including Greater Noida,” Khan said, adding that proximity to New Delhi and other logistical advantages influenced the decision to host Bangladesh at Greater Noida.

Back in December 2015, the BCCI and ACB signed a long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority, allowing Afghanistan to host its international matches at the facility. After attaining full membership status from the International Cricket Council in 2017, Afghanistan shifted its home base to Dehradun and played a few series there. However, logistical challenges forced them to relocate to the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow in 2019. Afghanistan played a limited-overs series and a lone Test against the West Indies in Lucknow before moving back to the tried and tested Greater Noida facility.

Tentative Schedule

July 25: First ODI
July 27: Second ODI
July 30: Third ODI
August 2: First T20I
August 4: Second T20I
August 6: Third T20I

This return to Greater Noida marks an important step for Afghanistan cricket, as they look to establish a stable and convenient home ground for future international fixtures. The series against Bangladesh promises to be an exciting contest, offering fans a chance to witness top-tier cricket in Greater Noida.

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