Afghanistan cricket team to play Pakistan A side

Afghanistan will play three one-day matches against a second-tier Pakistani team later this month, becoming the first international side to tour Pakistan in more than two years.
The tour will include a game in Abbottabad, the city where US Special Forces last week found and killed Osama bin Laden.

International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan over security fears since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009.

The attacks, which killed eight people and wounded seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach, prompted the International Cricket Council (ICC) to strip Pakistan of its share of matches for the 2011 World Cup.

Pakistan and Afghanistan officials hope the tour will encourage other international teams to visit.

“It was decided that the Afghanistan national team will tour Pakistan for a series of three one-day matches against the Pakistan ‘A’ team,” said a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) statement.

The Afghan team will arrive on May 24 before playing matches in Faisalabad the following day, Rawalpindi on May 27 and Abbottabad on May 29.

Pakistan has been at the forefront in helping its neighbour improve its promising cricket team.

Most Afghan players learnt the game as refugees in camps in Pakistan after the Soviet invasion in 1979.

Afghanistan qualified for the World Twenty20 in the West Indies last year and the same year won the Inter-Continental Cup, meant for Associated countries of the International Cricket Council.

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