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Afghanistan, Ireland awarded Test match status

  • Published at 08:38 pm June 22nd, 2017
  • Last updated at 08:06 pm June 24th, 2017
Afghanistan, Ireland awarded Test match status

Afghanistan and Ireland have both been awarded Test match status, the International Cricket Council announced Thursday.

The move, which means the two countries become full members of the ICC, cricket's global governing body, expands the number of Test-playing nations from 10 to 12.

Both countries were confirmed as full members after a unanimous vote at an ICC Council meeting in London on Thursday.

It means their men's teams will now be eligible to play five-day Test cricket, widely regarded as the sport's pinnacle format, following a recommendation that their applications met newly approved member criteria. It's been almost two decades since Bangladesh became the last country to be granted Test status. But Afghanistan and Ireland have now joined an exclusive club that also includes founder members Australia and England, who played the first Test match at Melbourne in 1877, South Africa, New Zealand, the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

Ireland have been knocking on the doors of the ICC for quite some time. Having played their first 50-over World Cup in 2007 and immediately making an impact by beating Pakistan, Ireland have since participated in every ICC event, causing a few upsets along the way.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, have grown tremendously since they received their One-Day status in 2011. Having failed to reach the World Cup the same year, the Asian side has made giant steps in ODIs and Twenty20 cricket. They qualified for the 2015 World Cup and won their first game in the mega event by beating Scotland.

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The Asian side has been in the ascendancy for quite a while now. Their journey graph is on the upward curve and they are more formidable than any other associate nation, including Ireland, whom they beat in a recently held ODI and T20I series.

It comes as a no surprise that a team consisting of Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, who are making all the waves for participating in different leagues around the globe, will be able to test their skills in the longest form of the game.

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