Afghanistan and Ireland wait on vote to join test nations

Afghanistan and Ireland are poised to become the 11th and 12th members of Test playing nations

Afghanistan and Ireland are poised to become the 11th and 12th members of Test playing nations

Afghanistan and Ireland are poised to become the 11th and 12th members of Test match cricket's close-knit club on Thursday when the sport's governing body meets in London.

Afghanistan and Ireland have both been elevated to Test status by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The granting of Test status will fulfil a lifelong ambition for the likes of legendary batsman Ed Joyce, who is playing on in expectation of a treasured first Test cap.

"It was the reason stated by some of our brightest and best in recent years for why they wished to play for England". Afghanistan will host the matches in Greater Noida, India, and Sharjah, Dubai for time being and hope to host cricket match in Afghanistan some day.

"We can now look forward to some great days ahead as Ireland takes on the top Test cricket playing nations in the world", Varadkar said.

Afghanistan ... accepted as a Full Member of the International Cricket Council. "We have been playing very good cricket, beating full members like Zimbabwe", he said at a celebration where a special cake was shared to mark the occasion.

Having already played in multiple World Twenty20 events, the Asian side made a stellar debut in the 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2015. But Ireland are eyeing a return to Lord's, where they played the second of two one-day internationals for the first time in against England last month. Afghanistan Cricket has gone from strength to strength and we dared to dream that this would happen and today it has become a reality."Stanikzai thanked the ICC Board members for their support".

After years of playing some quality cricket and performing well at big stages, the ICC chose to award Afghanistan and Ireland with the prestigious Test Status. "They have not focused exclusively on their own country but have ensured cricket around the world benefits".

"Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport and it's what we've been aiming for", he said.

Cricket has seen globalisation like any other game today but the horizontal expansion of the game has not helped the Test format.

The ICC said it would now work to "establish a new governing body for cricket in the US that is capable of unifying the fractured cricket community in that part of the world".

Cricket struggled under the hardline Islamist Taliban, who viewed sports as a distraction from religious duties - and famously shaved the heads of a visiting Pakistani football team as punishment for wearing shorts. But they will now be leaving that competition behind at the end of the year, with the door to Test cricket now wide open to them.

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