Australia line up first ODI match against Afghanistan in UAE

Australia will play Afghanistan for the first occasion next month in what is likely to be a ODI in the UAE, Cricket Australia said on Monday. Detailed information of the match, including the format, have yet to be finalised, CA said in a media report, but the Australians view the fixture as identification of Afghanistan’s “increasing worth in world cricket”.

“ Everybody in world cricket have been truly pleased with how cricket has flourished in Afghanistan, despite its pressing national issues,” said CA chief James Sutherland. “As an ICC member, CA highly supports world cricket’s ambition for cricket to continue to grow as a international sport and that, combined with the solid associations between our 2 nations, encouraged us to look at how we might figure out and motivate Afghanistan by playing them on the field.”

Afghanistan received ODI status during their unsuccessful try to qualify for last year’s World Cup and played their initial match in the 50-over format against Pakistan in February, losing by 7 wickets in Sharjah. Australia, ranked # 1 in the ICC ratings for ODIs, will use the match as a warm-up for a 3-match ODI series against Pakistan, which will also be played in the UAE in late August and early Sept.

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