“We are Test players now”

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Bipin Dani

Observer Correspondent

Mumbai

On Thursday Lalchand Rajput, Indian coach for the Afghanistani cricket team had his eyes and ears in London, where his team (along with the Irish team) were awarded the Test status.
Getting ICC’s full membership news was first conveyed to him by this Reporter on Thursday night and was also first hinted about it earlier in the day.
“It’s a big day for Afghanistan cricket and the sports loving people of Afghanistan. Now they will be called as Test playing country and the players as Test players”, speaking exclusively, he said.
“From last one year we are showing consistent performance and the credit must go to the players ,all support staff and the cricket board for presuming the matter with the ICC”, he further added.
On asked his preference he would love to play against their first Test opponent, Lalchand Rajput said, “We would love to play against any team but I think we will be playing against Zimbabwe or Ireland first”, he added.
Amazing feeling
“It is an amazing feeling to get the Test status”, the captain Asghar Stanikzai, when contacted in Kabul, said exclusively.
“It (the Test status) was fully deserved and our players were looking for this. We are very excited with this announcement. Our hard work has paid off and all other boards have supported us”.
“It is now a morale boosting challenge and will do better at the international level”, the skipper signed off.
“We are ready to play the Test match even from to-day”, Atit Marshal, the ACB chairman, speaking exclusively from London, said.
Afghan team will be playing the 50-over match against MCC at Lord’s next month.