The Afghanistan Cricket Board’s (ACB) plans for the staging of the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) received a significant boost earlier this week as the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave its stamp of approval for the tournament.
According to a release on the ACB website, ICC’s approval enabled “member boards to issue No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to players associated with the respective boards”.
The APL will begin as a five-team tournament, and will be played between 5 and 21 October at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates.
The league will be made up of teams from Kabul, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Balkh and Paktia.
Afghanistan star @rashidkhan_19 has launched a charity foundation aimed at aiding the health and education of orphaned and impoverished children in the country.
— ICC (@ICC) August 12, 2018
The bidding process for the ownership of the franchises is ongoing, and it is expected to be concluded later this month.
The tournament is different from the Shpageeza League, which is a 12-day tournament played in Afghanistan between six teams.
The APL marks the latest step in Afghanistan’s increasing presence in world cricket. Afghanistan were given ICC Full Member status in 2017, and in June they played their first ever Test, in Bengaluru against India.