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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Afghanistan to play first ever cricket Test in India in 2019, says BCCI

Indian cricket board's future tour schedule includes Test series against Afghanistan

Afghanistan and Ireland are the latest cricket teams to be awarded Test status. Christopher Pike / The National
Afghanistan and Ireland are the latest cricket teams to be awarded Test status. Christopher Pike / The National

Afghanistan will make its Test debut in 2019 when India hosts the cricketing minnows for their first five-day match since attaining full status, officials said Monday.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has unveiled the future tour schedule for the world's No 1 team, with a Test series against Afghanistan included in the 81-match home line-up across all formats.

The board has not yet decided on a date for the historic visit from Afghanistan, which in June joined Ireland in becoming the newest teams granted Test status by the International Cricket Council.

"Afghans were scheduled to play their first Test in 2019 versus Australia but considering the historic relationship between India and Afghanistan, we decided to host their first Test," BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said in New Delhi.

India has acted as a mentor for Afghanistan cricket, allowing the national side from the war-torn nation to play home matches for shorter formats of the game on the outskirts of Delhi.

Earlier this year, spin sensation Rashid Khan and former captain Mohammed Nabi became the first two Afghan players to be picked in the Indian Premier League auctions.

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