The BCCI and Afghanistan Cricket Board on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority to use Shahid Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex as home ground for Afghanistan Cricket Team.
The ground was recently inspected by ICC and was cleared for hosting ODI and T20I matches between ICC Associate Member countries. The venue was also certified to host Associate vs Full Member ‘A’ team matches.
However, ICC has not yet approved this ground for matches involving national teams of ICC Full Members and listed a few requirements to be approved it for hosting Full Members’ senior teams.
“BCCI will be happy to help any ICC member for the development of the game and this is a step in developing international cricket and increasing the competition,” BCCI president Shashank Manohar said.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said, “Afghanistan was quite keen to shift their home base to India for sometime and it has been BCCI’s vision to expand the game globally and help associate and affiliate members of ICC. In this direction, we identified this ground and Greater Noida authorities were open and cooperative to offer this ground to Afghanistan Cricket Board.”
“We will help Afghanistan Cricket Board in every possible manner. This venue was already approved by BCCI for first class matches and UPCA played its Ranji Trophy games here. I am happy that the ACB will now make this ground as their home ground,” Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association secretary Rajeev Shukla.
Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Shafiq Stanikzai said, “I am grateful to BCCI and particularly Mr. Anurag Thakur for offering us a home base in India. This is a historic day for Afghanistan cricket and this will strengthen the relationship between two countries. We were trying for this for a last few years time and finally we have succeeded. I am sure that in future we would be able to host Full Members’ national teams on this ground as well. I would also like to thank Greter Noida Authorities for all assistance they have provided to us.”
Rama Raman, Chairman, Noida, Greater Noida, Yamuna Expressway Authority, said he too would offer all the help to the ACB.
“Mr Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh was very keen to offer this ground to Afghanistan Cricket Board and because of his support, we were able to work out this proposal in very short period of time. On behalf of Chief Minister and Government of Uttar Pradesh, I offer our full support to Afghanistan Cricket Board, and I am thankful to BCCI for facilitating this opportunity,” said Raman.