Johannesburg, Sep. 27(ANI): Asian cricket chiefs are pushing hard for war-torn Afghanistan to get associate membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC) as a reward for their rapid progress in the sport.
The support for Afghanistan's elevation to the second tier of ICC membership, one rung below Test level, comes after their players, many of whom learned the game in refugee camps, took part in their second World Twenty20 this month.
Associate membership, for countries where cricket is firmly established and organised', would be a huge step forward for Afghanistan after they won affiliate membership in 2001 and earned the right to play one-day internationals in 2009.
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chief executive Ashraful Haq announced the move to back Afghanistan after a meeting of its development committee in Islamabad this week.
"Afghanistan has been the strongest side among the affiliate members of the ICC, so we are backing them for promotion and we hope that they will live up to that promotion," Sports24 quoted Haq, as saying.
Afghanistan will now apply for associate membership and their bid will be decided next June, at the annual ICC talks.
The world body currently has 10 full members, 36 associates and 60 affiliate members. (ANI)