One of the greatest romances with the sport of cricket that the world has seen in recent times has been that of the Afghanistan team. Their struggles during the early days as a team, the rise of players and the plethora of difficulties they faced during the process of coming to the international stage from a place like that is a thing that has inspired and set a great example for everyone who follows the sport or generally follows the happenings around the globe.
When they started out as a full status member of the International Cricket Council, they had to find a home venue, and during that search, it was the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium was the place where they found respite. They set up their base at that venue and began hosting their home games there, between the year 2010 and 2016.
Afghanistan have so far had their home grounds in India and Sharjah
After that time, it was the Board of Control for Cricket in India that came to the rescue for them, when they offered them home venues to the team in India, with the first one being the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in the year 2017. There the team played a series against Ireland. They then moved on to play their matches at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun and the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana International Cricket Stadium in Lucknow, with the latter being their latest home ground.
Just before the pandemic started out the Afghans had hosted the West Indian team in the Lucknow venue, and the administrators of Afghanistan Cricket Board were all praise for the hospitality provided to them in the country. The players then moved on and set their ‘home base’ in Sharjah, where apparently it is being a financial strain for the cricket administration of Afghanistan to cope up with the expenses. And, it now seems that the country’s administrators are looking to set their base even closer to home, in Oman.
As reported by Cricbuzz, the Oman Cricket Academy Ground 1 was approved by the International Cricket Council to be used as a Test venue for Afghanistan’s series against Zimbabwe. Even though the series looks to be in danger, owing to the lockdown implemented in Zimbabwe and other diplomatic issues, it has been affirmed that ‘The gate is open for Afghanistan (to make Oman as their home venue)’.
This comes in as an interesting move by Afghanistan Cricket Board, aimed at making things better on the financial front for the team and it will be a task at hand for the players of the team to adapt to the conditions there and get ready as new challenges approach them.