Afghanistan cricket set for windfall after WC qualification
Dubai: Afghanistan cricket is set for a multi-million dollar windfall after qualifying for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015.
The side from the sport`s second tier will receive a USD one million preparation fee from the International Cricket Council, ahead of the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
It comes on top of the USD 422,000 awarded to the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) by the ICC in April of this year as part of its Targeted Assistance and Performance Programme (TAPP), aimed at raising playing standards.
In 2014, the top ICC Associate and Affiliate members, including Afghanistan will also receive approximately USD 750,000 in base support through the ICC Development Funding Policy.
And according to the ACB Chief Executive Officer Dr Mohammed Noor, there is a potential for further funding that could amount to as much as USD 850,000 from the country`s government and sponsorship agreements from domestic and international businesses.
"All the money we will receive will allow us to develop the game even more, and it will also allow us to be as ready as we can be for the ICC Cricket World Cup," said Dr Noor.
The two matches against Kenya that sealed the side`s place for 2015 World Cup were shown back home on national television as well as on the internet. That followed on from matches against Namibia streamed live in August, coverage that has given significant exposure to the national side.
It has allowed millions of Afghanistan cricket fans starved of action due to continuing fears over security the chance to enjoy the side`s triumphs, just five years after it was competing against cricketing minnows Japan and Jersey.
The ACB`s coffers may be swelled still further in the coming months if the team can qualify for 2014`s ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, with the qualifiers for that event in the United Arab Emirates in November.
If Afghanistan can secure a place at that tournament -- and it has qualified for the past two, in the West Indies in 2010 and Sri Lanka in 2012 -- the ACB will receive an additional USD 250,000.