The Embassy of Afghanistan hosted a warm reception in honour of the Afghanistan National Cricket Team and invited some members of the Afghan community in Great Britain. The event took place at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel on July 8th. It was important for the Embassy of Afghanistan to show support to the National Team for their game against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) at Lords, which took place on July 11th. In addition, the Afghanistan Embassy staff and diplomats attended the game amongst the Afghan community of London. Unfortunately, the game had to be cancelled due to the rain.
The game was live broadcasted and watched by over 1.3 million people worldwide. It was the first time the Afghanistan National Cricket Team played at Lords. Despite the match ending without a result due to rain, the Afghanistan supporters made for a partisan atmosphere with around 6,000 in attendance.
The rise of the Afghan National Cricket team has been phenomenal over recent years. Most notably, as the match at Lord’s approached, Afghanistan has been confirmed as a full member of the elite group of ICC (International Cricket Council) Test Match nations on 22 June 2017, following a decade of playing top class international cricket. Full ICC membership was granted to Afghanistan taking the number of Test cricket playing nations to twelve and unlocking extra funding and voting rights. Afghanistan will now be eligible to play Test cricket following a Membership Committee recommendation that the respective Full Member applications meet the newly approved membership criteria and should be put forward for approval.