Great thing for people of Afghanistan, says coach Lalchand Rajput on country’s Test status

Afghanistan cricket has made rapid strides with the country’s premier leg-spinner Rashid Khan making waves in T20 leagues including IPL. Recently, they beat West Indies in an ODI, drawing an away series 1-1.

In a historic development, two cricket nations were granted full membership and Test status by the ICC on Thursday. The two nations which will now play Test cricket are Afghanistan and Ireland. The two have now become the 11th and 12th nations to be awarded Test status.

Expressing his happiness over the announcement, Afghanistan head coach Lalchand Rajput said that it was a great moment for the staff and the people of the country.

“It is a great moment for all of us and that country,” Rajput told PTI in Mumbai. “It is a great thing for the people of that country.”

Rajput has been associated with the cricket team since last one year and they have had some good results. He added that they will try to live up to the expectations of the ICC.

“We will live up to the expectations of the International Cricket Council,” the 55-year-old former opener said.

Recently, Afghanistan beat West Indies in an ODI and leg-spinner Rashid Khan picked up seven wickets in that match. He has made headlines during the Indian Premier League as well.

“For a nation like Afghanistan, it is a huge and remarkable achievement, the entire nation will be celebrating across all five regions and different provinces, it is the perfect Eid gift. Everyone has waited for this news and has been so keen to hear this news. Afghanistan Cricket has gone from strength to strength and we dared to dream that this would happen and today it has become a reality.” Afghanistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Shafiq Stanikzai said.

“I would like to thank the ICC and the Board who have demonstrated today that they are committed to growing the global game and rewarding nations who are performing on and off the field. As an administrator, every achievement is huge and it opens the doors to new challenges and we need to work hard to maintain and sustain our development at the top of the cricket world,” he said.

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