Afghanistan seal Test status
Just two weeks after shocking West Indies for their first win over a major Test-playing side, minnows Afghanistan have been granted Test status by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
They, along with Ireland, were adopted as full members following a unanimous vote at the ICC Full Council meeting at the Oval yesterday.
"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 (Muslim festival) gift," Afghanistan Cricket Board chief executive Shafiq Stanikzai said.
"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, coached by discarded West Indies head coach Phil Simmons, has made waves over the last year with victory in the Intercontinental Cup over Ireland in March, and one-day wins over the Irish, Zimbabwe and Scotland.
They snatched the headlines earlier this month when they stunned two-time former World Cup champions West Indies by 63 runs in the first One-Day International of the three-match series at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.
They then forced the Windies to labour in pursuit of 136 for victory in the second match, before the hosts got home by four wickets in the 40th over.
Afghanistan and Ireland will become the 11th and 12th Test playing nations, joining Australia, India, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and West Indies.