Afghanistan to play annual T20I series against UAE as part of new deal

Five-year agreement reached which formalises the Emirates as the Afghan side's base for 'home' matches

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The UAE will be guaranteed T20 international cricket against elite opposition as part of a new agreement with the Afghanistan Cricket Board.

The national team will face Afghanistan in a three-match T20I series each year for the next five years.

It is part of a deal formalising the Emirates as Afghanistan's nominal home base.

Since they started their remarkable rise from refugees displaced to Pakistan to the top of the international game, the Afghans have played the vast majority of their home fixtures in the UAE.

Initially, they were granted free use of Sharjah Cricket Stadium. After a brief spell of playing matches in India, they have recently hosted matches in Abu Dhabi.

Now they have entered into a "five-year mutual cooperation agreement" with the Emirates Cricket Board.

It means they will be based in the Emirates for matches and training, and play an annual series against the UAE.

The ECB will also provide "logistic support to the Afghanistan board, including visa assistance and office space," according to a press release.

“Both the Emirates and Afghanistan Cricket Boards enjoy long, cordial relations, and we are happy to support the ACB in ensuring that they have a home for their cricket," Mubashshir Usmani, the ECB's general secretary, was quoted as saying.

"We are also thankful to Afghanistan Cricket Board for agreeing to play T20 internationals against UAE Team each year.

"This will provide our UAE team with the invaluable exposure and help in their development."

Updated: November 27, 2022, 7:31 AM