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Afghanistan line up match against Ireland in UAE

Afghanistan are likely to play a one-day international against Ireland in the Emirates later this year.

DUBAI // Afghanistan are likely to play a one-day international against Ireland in the Emirates later this year. The fixture may follow a four-day first class fixture in the Intercontinental Cup. Afghanistan continued their impressive run by levelling a two-game series against the Netherlands and the former captain Raees Ahmadzai said the team would arrive in the Emirates after a training camp this month.

"The team want to have a training camp that will either be in Sri Lanka, India or the UAE. The players want to play in India. After that we are going to play Ireland in the UAE," Ahmadzai said. The fixture is yet to be confirmed but the suggestions are Afghanistan will use the UAE as a base for their home games, following the example of neighbours Pakistan who hosted a series against Australia in the country this year.

Afghanistan gained one-day status in April and are involved in the Intercontinental Cup (IC), a tournament that is designed to showcase teams that are Associate members with the International Cricket Council and on the fringe of getting Test status. Afghanistan won their first IC match against the Netherlands last week. They also beat a second string side from suspended Test nation Zimbabwe the week before.

Like Pakistan, Afghanistan has been battling with security concerns. If the Emirates is confirmed as their home base then fixtures against the Netherlands, Scotland, Canada and Kenya may follow. Afghanistan will return to the country in February for the Twenty20 World Cup qualifers in Dubai. Afghanistan are due to play the USA in a fixture that has generated considerable international interest. Last year more than 10,000 fans watched Afghanistan play a match in Kuwait.

@Email:tbrooks@thenational.ae

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