ACB hope the Afghanistan Premier League can rival big T20 leagues


The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chief executive Shafiq Stanikzai has stressed that they want the Afghanistan Premier League to be in the top three T20 cricket leagues in the world.

It is fair to say that there was a passion and determination in his words backed fully by the strides that Afghanistan cricket has achieved in the last few years.

While their national team is leaping forward marking their presence across the globe continuing on their path of evolution and development, the ACB has now set its sight on the money-spinning T20 league formula.

Going all guns blazing for its promotion and increasing popularity levels, the stakes are high for ACB who seeks to not only provide their domestic players a global stage to perform but also attract money that could pave way for future Afghan cricket development.

Cricket is popular in Afghanistan, there is no doubt about that, but amidst all the turmoil back home, Afghan cricket is growing at a pace that will many will envy. Following the success of its domestic T20 competition, the Shpageeza Cricket League that has gained high popularity and has many star players to reckon with, ACB now wants to take the next step – routing to the global level and bring more exposure and money.

With star players like Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Brendon McCullum, Kumar Sangakkara set to join the ranks of participating teams, one could sense the belief and vision in Shafiq Stanikzai’s eyes is based on recent developments and statistical analysis.

Scheduled between October 5 to October 21, 2018 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the APL will see top past and current players donning the colours of five teams, and will be picked through a draft in September 2018.

With Sharjah hosting Pakistan and many other tournaments around the year, the anticipated footfall for the APL is high, according to ACB marketing director Lutfullah Stanikzai. He believes that Sharjah is a hub for cricket action and has become a second home for Afghans and will surely mark its presence in taking APL to a high.

ICC recognizing the APLT20, Afghanistan Cricket Board receiving increasing financial support after getting test status, increased interest from the TV and sponsorship rights from companies and the work of the tournament organizer, Snixer sports, have all contributed towards realizing the dream of an own T20 league for Afghan cricket.