Photo Credit: Afghanistan Cricket Board
The 14th edition of the Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan Provincial Grade I Tournament, this year’s 2nd domestic cricket event, is set to begin on March 3. The event features 12 provincial teams that are divided into 2 groups and will be played across four different venues in Khost and Nangarhar provinces.
The tournament will be played in a one-day format with a total of 33 games spread out over 18 days, from March 3 to 20. The 12 competing teams will be divided into 2 groups of 6 teams each, with each team playing other teams in their group once. The team with the most points in each group will advance to the Semi-Finals of the event.
Kunduz, Paktia, Nangarhar and Kandahar are the four teams that advanced to the semi-finals of the previous edition and had already secured spots in the event. The other six teams who qualified for this year’s grade one event were Laghman, Kunar, Logar, Khost, Nangarhar B, and Kabul, who have topped their respective groups in the recently concluded WAK Provincial Grade II Tournament.
Two more competing teams, “ACB XI” and “Chairman XI,” are formed for players who have performed well in the Grade II Tournament while their respective teams have failed to qualify for the Grade I event. The ACB has added two extra teams to the event in order to provide the top performers from the Grade II event equal opportunities to compete and demonstrate their abilities.
Kabul, Nangarhar, Logar, Kunduz, Chairman XI, and Kunar are the six teams drawn in Group A, which will compete in Nangarhar province. Khost, Paktia, Kandahar, Laghman, ACB XI, and Nangarhar B are among the teams in Group B. The competitions in this group will take place in Khost province.
Mr. Naseeb Khan, CEO of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, is pleased that two provincial-level events will be held in less than two months. “Having two consecutive tournaments in the first part of the year is a good sign. The grade II tournament was a success in terms of developing high-quality cricket, which resulted in producing high-quality players. “We are committed to the development of domestic cricket as it serves as a backup to national-level cricket.”
“The Afghanistan Cricket Board is dedicated to promoting the game throughout the country and the success of these provincial tournaments is a testament to the organization’s efforts.” He added.
The Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan Provincial Grade I event is the second of several domestic events planned for the year 2023, which will be followed by numerous white and red-ball events.