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They are one of the newest full member nations of the ICC but where do they play? Here is a guide to cricket stadiums in Afghanistan.
How many International Cricket Stadiums are there in Afghanistan?
Ten stadiums are available to host international cricket in Afghanistan. There are two more sites currently under construction which would therefore take that figure to 12.
Not all of those grounds would host matches on a regular basis, but there are ten venues currently available in 2023.
Why has India been made a Home Venue for the Afghanistan Cricket Team?
Due to security issues in their own country, the Afghanistan cricket team have been forced to play their home international matches outside of their own country. Safety concerns mean that overseas teams are not comfortable with touring the country at the moment.
India, along with other countries such as Sri Lanka, have therefore provided home venues for the Afghanistan national team in the recent past. This situation could well continue, but the side also plays a large proportion of their matches as official away games.
Main Grounds in Afghanistan
Ghazi Amanullah International Cricket Stadium in Ghazi Amanullah Town, Jalalabad
Among the main grounds in Afghanistan is the Ghazi Amanullah International Cricket Stadium which was opened in 2008. It has a capacity of 14,000 and is well equipped to cope with international matches.
That capacity makes it the second largest cricket ground in the country and it’s home to the Nangarhar Province domestic team.
Kandahar International Cricket Stadium in Kandahar
Set to offer a capacity of 14,000, there will be more than enough room for the Kandahar International Cricket Stadium to host major matches. The Kandahar Province side play here as do the Boost Defenders.
The completion of a brand new stadium in this part of the country, came with the intention of making cricket more accessible and popular in Southern Afghanistan.
Kabul National Cricket Stadium in Kabul
Opened in 2011, the Kabul National Cricket Stadium has a more modest capacity of 6,000, but that figure would still be sufficient to accommodate minor international games.
It has the benefit of being located in the capital and largest city within the country, and that would help it to become a regular on the circuit. In domestic tournaments, the Kabul National Cricket Stadium is home to the Kabul Eagles.
Khost City Stadium in Khost
The Khost City Stadium opened in 2011, and cricket forms just a part of the overall package here. A multi-sport facility, it’s also home to football, volleyball, basketball and more.
With a top capacity of 18,000, it should be a regular option for international cricket when the time is right.
Stadiums Under Construction
Balkh Cricket Stadium in Mazar-i-Sharif
Afghanistan has a number of stadiums under construction as it hopes to host international cricket in the future. One of these is the Balkh Cricket Stadium in the city of Mazar and it should prove to be a seriously impressive location.
The developers secured funding from India and also from the United States Agency for International Development, in order to get their project off the ground.
While the work continues, early reports suggest that there will be an overall capacity of 4,000 here. Those are relatively modest numbers, so it may be the case that the Balkh Stadium will host minor internationals, along with those at junior level.
Kunduz Cricket Stadium in Kunduz
Kunduz is a city in Northern Afghanistan, and it’s also set to gain a top class international cricket venue in the near future. The Kunduz Cricket Stadium is currently under construction and it should be another regular venue for domestic teams soon.
Little is known about the ground so we can only guess at its future capacity. It’s hoped that its opening will increase the options for the national team whenever it becomes possible to host touring sides in Afghanistan.
The main hope here is that it will be safe for international teams to travel to Afghanistan in the future. It could be some time before we see that happening but, when the time is right, there is no shortage of top stadiums that could accommodate international cricket.
We’ve already seen that Afghanistan teams can compete at a high level, particularly in the shorter forms of cricket. The leg spinner Rashid Khan is their best known player, and he is one of a number of Afghan cricketers to have played for overseas franchise teams.
They are a developing side, but they have already enjoyed some success on the world stage. While the dream of playing home games in their own country seems a long way off right now, it’s hoped that these impressive Afghanistan stadiums will be able to host regular international cricket at some point in the future.