England and Australia headline Afghan Test schedule

Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Shafiq Stanikzai has revealed that the newest Test nation will enjoy a busy Test programme in the next FTP cycle.

The Future Tours Programme for 2019-2023 was confirmed at an ICC board meeting in Kolkata last week.

Stanikzai said: “We are playing 14-18 Tests in the new FTP cycle. We will be playing against England, Australia, the West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Bangladesh.

“These series does not come under the Test Championship, these will be all bilateral series – home and away.”

Afghanistan will meet Australia before their Test engagement when they clash at next year’s Cricket World Cup in the United Kingdom.

The team’s skipper Asghar Stanikzai says that the only previous meeting between the sides at the 2015 World Cup will have little impact on their upcoming fixtures.

Asghar said: “That was a match which taught us plenty of cricket lessons. And as recent results show, we have learnt from that match and only got better since that tournament.

“I am getting goosebumps thinking about playing Australia in our World Cup opener in England.

“For most of us, it is like a dream but the reality is we have worked extremely hard for this and have been rewarded with the opportunity of not only playing against Australia but all the big nations who have done so very well in international cricket over the past years.

“The match against Australia provides us the chance to make a strong start in the tournament of the best versus the best, and ensure people take serious note of us.”