Afghanistan To Compete In 2014 Asia Cup

Afghanistan celebrate
Afghanistan will make their Asia Cup debut in February
©International Cricket Council

The 2014 Asia Cup will be held in Bangladesh from 25th February and for the first time, Afghanistan will join Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the One-Day International tournament.

Having qualified for the 2015 World Cup and a third successive ICC World Twenty20 in 2014, Afghanistan were invited to participate following the Annual General Meeting of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).

The Asia Cup, run by the ACC, has since 2008 been held every two years, with Bangladesh set to host the tournament for the second time in a row.

"The tournament will go ahead as scheduled in Bangladesh from February 25, and Afghanistan will be added as the fifth team in the regional one-day tournament." ACC Chief Executive Ashraful Huq said.

"This is a big step forward for Afghanistan," he added. "Their participation in the Asia Cup will encourage them for the bigger tests ahead."

Afghanistan's participation comes following meetings between the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and their Indian (BCCI) and Sri Lankan (SLC) counterparts.

"We are grateful that the Asian Cricket Council recommended Afghanistan’s participation in the Asian Cup 2014," Dr Noor Mohammad Murad, ACB CEO said.

"We are even more thrilled that India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have agreed to our participation.

"Afghanistan needs the kind of elite level experience that competing against those full member, testing playing nations can provide for us. 

"Our Under-19 National Team has just participated in the  Under-19 Asian Cup and made it to the first semi final after defeating Sri Lanka Under-19 team. 

"Now we believe our National Team can also be a competitive presence in this tournament.

"Win or lose the experience we gain will be very important for us and will have tremendous value for our players."

Pakistan are the reigning Asia Cup champions beating Bangladesh by two runs in a thrilling final in 2012.

Afghanistan will become just the seventh nation to have played at the Asia Cup after Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates featured in both 2004 and 2008.

Neither side won a match, and for the last two editions of the tournament, it has featured just the four Test-playing Asian nations.

© Cricket World 2014

Fixtures & Results
25th February: Pakistan v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 296-6 (Thirimanne 102) beat
Pakistan 284 (Malinga 5-52) by 12 runs
26th February: Bangladesh v India
India 280-4 (Kohli 136, Rahane 73) beat
Bangladesh 279-7 (M Rahim 113) by 6 wickets
27th February: Afghanistan v Pakistan
Pakistan 248-8 (Umar Akmal 102no) beat
Afghanistan 176 (M Hafeez 3-29) by 72 runs
28th February: India v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 265-8 (Sangakkara 103) beat
India 264-9 (Dhawan 94) by 2 wickets
1st March: Bangladesh v Afghanistan
Afghanistan 254-6 (Asghar Stanikzai 90no) beat
Bangladesh 222 (Mominul Haque 50) by 32 runs
2nd March: India v Pakistan
Pakistan 249-9 (Mohammad Hafeez 75) beat
India 245-8 (Sharma 56) by one wicket
3rd March: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 253-6 (Sangakkara 76) beat
Afghanistan 124 (Mendis 3-11) by 129 runs
4th March: Bangladesh v Pakistan
Pakistan 329-7 (Ahmed Shehzad 103) beat
Bangladesh 326-3 by three wickets
5th March: Afghanistan v India
India 160-2 (Dhawan 60, Rahane 56) beat
Afghanistan 159 (Jadeja 4-30) by 8 wickets
6th March: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 208-7 (Mathews 74no) beat
Bangladesh 204-9 (Priyanjan 2-11) by 3 wickets
8th March: FINAL - Pakistan v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 261-5 (Thirimanne 101) beat
Pakistan 260-5 (Malinga 5-56) by 5 wickets