Afghanistan to get an international standard cricket stadium soon

Construction is going on in full swing and Afghanistan Cricket Board hopes that the venue will be ready in the next five months so that it can host the Ramazan Cup, proposed to be held next year.

The stadium will be one of the centerpieces in the cricket "surge" currently sweeping across Afghanistan, an ACB release said today. Afghanistan's Finance Minister Dr Omar Zakhilwal, who is also the President of the Board, recently announced the plan to build cricket grounds in all 34 provinces over the next two years.

The stadium has a total build-up area of 30 acres. The present construction allows seating arrangement for 7,000 in the stadium due to financial constraints, but the stadium has been designed in such a way so that it can be expanded to accommodate more than 60,000 people.

"Once completed, the stadium will not only help solve the difficulties Afghan cricketers currently face due to lack of proper playing facilities, but will enable the ACB to invite other nations to play in an international standard venue in Afghanistan," ACB Chief Executive Dr Hamid Shinwari said.

"The stadium will include four international standard pitches, an advanced cricket academy and a hostel for players training at the academy. The ACB sees cricket as more than just a sporting activity in Afghanistan.

"We believe it is a tool for peace building in our country. The start of construction on the Nangarhar Stadium is not just a physical building, but a sign also of a new way of building our country, building our young people and building peace," he added.

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