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Afghanistan and Ireland witnessed a historic occasion in the game of cricket when their respective cricket boards – the Afghanistan Cricket Board and Cricket Ireland, were confirmed as Full Members of the International Cricket Council. This was after a unanimous vote which took place at the ICC Full Council meeting at The Oval on Thursday.
It effectively means that the Afghanistan and Ireland are now the 11th and 12th members of Test match cricket.The last team to be granted such a status was Bangladesh which was almost two decades ago.
On the joyous occasion, the Afghan cricket board sent out a message on social media saying, “Massive thank you to everyone who has played their part in making the dream of Full Membership of ICC a reality.”
Earlier, International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson had said, “It’s never wise to try and make a call too early, but certainly the applications of both are very well founded.”
“They both, on the face of it, meet the majority, if not all, of the full member criteria that has been set. I’m optimistic that they’ll be given serious consideration to have every chance of succeeding.”
Meanwhile, former batting coach Rashid Latif had also said in an interview with AFP, “Afghanistan deserves Test status because their performances are good. Once they get to play Tests, more and more players will come forward just like happened in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – Kenya suffered because they were not awarded.”
It may be recalled here that Afghanistan gained one-day international (ODI) status in 2011. In 2015 Afghanistan played in their first 50-over World Cup.