Narendra Modi hopes historic cricket match will boost ties with Afghanistan

Narendra Modi hopes historic cricket match will boost ties with Afghanistan

Narendra Modi hopes historic cricket match will boost ties with Afghanistan

However, now with Afghanistan qualified to play test matches, the Indian government realised it was important for their team to have its own exclusive cricket stadium which would host their global matches. Since then, not only have they have upstaged football as the nation's number one sport but also have tried to wipe out the tears from the eyes of their countrymen with their deeds on the cricket field. But once both were dismissed by pacer Yamin Ahmadzai (2/32), a rot set in and the Indians found themselves on the back-foot.

Salim Durani, 83, the former India all-rounder who was born in Afghanistan, was the special guest for the day.

And Indian batsman Karun Nair, famed for his triple century in his third Test against England in 2016, cast doubt on Stanikzai's claim of spin superiority. At the outset, Ajinkya Rahane, captaining in place of absent-through-neck-injury to Virat Kohli, and Co. should find it easy against Test cricket's latest entrant. "Thanks to @BCCI for hosting @ACBofficials for this first test", Abdullah tweeted. The mood back home is that they are very positive, supportive and looking forward for the best performance.

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But the most cherished keepsakes of the day will be those red caps. The tea was taken by that time.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called cricket the "unifying force" in Afghanistan. "This demonstrates the indomitable Afghan spirit to overcome all challenges and realise aspirations for a purposeful, stable, united and peaceful nation".

The match is a milestone for Afghanistan whose sportsmen have persevered, despite conflict and tough conditions at home, to emerge on the global cricketing arena.

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India enjoys close relations with Afghanistan and both accuse common neighbour Pakistan of not doing enough to stop Islamist militants operating on their territory.

BCCI has gifted the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, as a temporary "home-ground" to the Afghan team. The people of India have shared the joys of millions of Afghans and the success of the players in tournament in India and elsewhere.

Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah is scheduled to witness the historic moment when Afghanistan embarks on a new journey and makes its debut in test cricket at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru tomorrow. Although Afghanistan players have had a fair exposure to worldwide cricket, through its participation in 98 ODIs, including the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and in additional 66 in t20 format, including appearances, in the last four editions of The World Twenty20, Afghanistan players have very limited experience of four-day cricket.

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