As the Afghanistan cricket team created history on Thursday by making their Test debut against India in Bengaluru, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and congratulated the visitors on their new innings. The Prime Minister said that he is glad that Afghanistan chose India to play their first Test. He added that sports will continue to bring the people of two countries together. “I congratulate the people of Afghanistan as their cricket team plays their first international test match. Glad that they have chosen to play the historic match with India. Best wishes to both teams! May sports continue to bring our people closer & strengthen ties,” the tweet read.
I congratulate the people of Afghanistan as their cricket team plays their first international test match. Glad that they have chosen to play the historic match with India. Best wishes to both teams! May sports continue to bring our people closer and strengthen ties.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 14, 2018
It was a proud moment for the war-torn country to come out of the horrors and qualify for the longer format of the game. The Afghan team has been hit by lack of facilities and was forced to train in India. It played most of its home matches in Greater Noida and recently hosted Bangladesh for a three-match T20I series in Dehradun.
The historic occasion was attended by Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chief Atif Mashal and Afghan team Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Before the start of the match, Mashal wrote a statement from which said that this match is a source of immense pride for the country.
“As President of Afghanistan, I welcome their maiden Test match against India. I am proud of the men who championed cricket in Afghanistan in the dawn of the century and believed in themselves that one day Afghanistan will play against the best in the world,” the message read.
He thanked BCCI for their role in the development in Afghanistan cricket, and for organizing this match.
Rathore also read a note from Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulating both the cricket boards and wished them luck. “It is a matter of great pride and immense pleasure that Afghanistan has chosen to play its maiden Test match with India. The young and talented Afghan National Team has made a great stride in a very short period of time after it becomes an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council in 2001,” the message from PM Modi read.
It added that Afghanistan has consistently performed against other ICC members and Test playing nations recording milestone victories over them in various formats of the game. The note said that these achievements have come in challenging and difficult circumstances which demonstrates the indomitable Afghan spirit to overcome all challenges and realise aspirations for a purposeful, stable, united and peaceful nation.