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Cricket- Afghanistan gears up for historic maiden Test

Published: June 11, 2018

STORY: Afghanistan cricket team hit the ground running on Monday (June 11) as they began their preparations for their inaugural Test match against India.

Afghanistan and Ireland joined the ranks of full member nations of the International Cricket Council last June, taking the total number of test-playing countries to 12.

Afghanistan are led by Asghar Stanikzai and have spinners Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman who won praise from the cricket fraternity for their performance in the recently concluded Indian Premier League.

Indian cricketer Karun Nair said that it would be different to play Khan in Tests as the teenager lacks experience in the longest format of the game.

India will be without the services of fast bowler Mohammed Shami and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha for the match which begins on June 14 in southern Bengaluru city. The two players have been replaced by uncapped paceman Navdeep Saini and Dinesh Karthik respectively.

Cricket has a long history in Afghanistan but the country only gained full one-day international (ODI) status in 2011.

In 2015, still suffering from the impact of war and conflict, Afghanistan took part in their first 50-over World Cup and they have also played in the World Twenty20 competition.

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