Photo Credit: Afghanistan Cricket Board
The 13th edition of Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan Provincial Grade One competitions, the 2nd domestic event of the year, is all set to get underway on March 11. The event features 12 provincial teams which are divided into 2 groups of 6 teams and will be played across two different venues in Khost and Nangarhar provinces, with the final of the event staged in Kabul on March 29.
The tournament will be played in a one-day format and a total of 33 games will be played across 19 days from March 11 to 29. The participating teams are divided into 2 groups of five teams.
Khost, Paktia, Kandahar, Faryab, ACB XI and Nangarhar B are the six teams that are placed in Group A, which will lock horns against each other in Khost province. Group B features Nangarhar, Paktika, Kunduz, Kabul, Helmand and Chairman XI teams. The competitions in this group are scheduled to be played in Ghazi Amanullah Khan Cricket Ground, in Nangarhar.
Khost, Kabul, Nangarhar, and Faryab are the four teams that made the semi-finals of the previous editions and had already qualified for the event. Paktia, Paktika, Nangarhar B, Kunduz, Helmand, and Kandahar are the other six teams that have topped their respective groups in the recently concluded Grade II competitions and have managed to qualify for this year’s grade one event.
Two other participating teams “ACB XI” and “Chairman XI” are made for the players that have had good performances in the Grade II competitions, with their respective teams failing to qualify for the Grade I event. This is the 2nd successive time (edition) that two extra teams are being added to the event to provide the top performers of the Grade II event with equal opportunities to feature in the event and showcase their abilities.
All the participating teams will play once against each other in their respective groups with the top two from each pool advancing to the semi-finals. The competitions are considered to be quite important in terms of producing new talents and contributing to the development of the game in the country.
Mr. Naseeb Khan, the CEO of the Afghanistan Cricket Board is glad to have two provincial-level events conducted in less than two months’ time. “It’s a positive sign to have two successive events in the first quarter of the year. The grade II event was a successful one in terms of producing high-quality cricket which in return produced high-quality players. We are committed to the development of domestic cricket as it serves as the backup of the national level cricket”: added Mr. Naseeb Khan.
The Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan Provincial Grade I event is the 2nd of many domestic events that are included in the domestic cricket plan for the year 2022, which will be followed by a multi-day and an age-level tournament in May.