The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Tuesday, has denied the request of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) to allow them to host the Afghanistan Premier League in India. It is quite surprising from BCCI’s end to say no as they have contributed immensely to the growth of cricket in the war-torn country of Afghanistan. Also, ACB have two home ground in Greater Noida and Dehradun and host all their home matches there.
A BCCI official said it would be inappropriate to allow them to host APL here, given that India have its own league. The ACB officials had conveyed their desire to organize APL in India to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim during a meeting on May 16. During the meeting the ACB officials had also asked for a third home ground in India, to which BCCI did not object and readily agreed to provide them with another ground. Lucknow is likely to be added to the list Afghanistan’s home ground in India.
The inaugural edition of Afghanistan Premier League was held in Sharjah last year with five teams participating in it. The tournament, which was won by Balkh Legends, saw some of the stalwarts of cricket playing in it. Players like Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Ben Cutting, Shahid Afridi, Colin Ingram and Colin Munro had graced the first edition of APL.
Currently, in England participating in the ICC World Cup 2019, Afghanistan are in the middle of a dismal run in the showpiece event. Having lost all their matches comprehensively, they have failed to live up to the expectations of many who were predicting some upsets would be caused by the Gulbadin Naib-led unit. Also, their star players like Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi have not starred so far, which have added more to the despair of Afghan fans. Rashid Khan, yesterday, bowled the costliest ever spell in World Cup history after he conceded 110 runs in just nine overs against England.