BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and Afghanistan Cricket Board signed a MOU with Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority on 10th December, 2015 which will enable the Afghan cricket team to use the Shahid Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex ground as their home base. Previously Sharjah was the home ground for the Afghans.
ICC has already inspected the ground and deemed it fit for ICC Associate Vs. Associate international ODI and T20 matches. The ground is also fit to host Associate Vs. ICC ‘A’ member matches but to gain permission to host national matches of ICC full members, the ground has to make some improvements.
BCCI President Shashank Manohar said in a statement, “”BCCI will be happy to help any ICC member for the development of the game and this is a step in developing international cricket and increasing the competition.” BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur has been instrumental in this endeavour and he said, “Afghanistan was quite keen to shift their home base to India for sometime now and it has been BCCI’s vision to expand the game globally and help associate and affiliate members of ICC. In this direction, we identified this ground and Greater Noida authorities were open and cooperative to offer this ground to Afghanistan Cricket Board.”
Afghanistan Cricket Board is obviously elated at this development as their CEO Shafiq Stanikzai mentioned, “I am grateful to BCCI and particularly Anurag Thakur for offering us a home base in India. This is a historical day for Afghanistan Cricket and this will strengthen the relationship between two countries. We were trying for this for a last few years and finally we have succeeded.” It can be assumed that the city of Delhi will see a lot more cricket from now onwards as Afghanistan has proved themselves to be a formidable side in the making.