Visa errors have delayed Afghanistan’s arrival in the Caribbean for the upcoming U19 World Cup. This has had a contagious effect on a bit of the pre-tournament planning, where their warm-up matches have been canceled and England and the UAE rescheduled.
Discussions trying to solve the problems are underway.
“We have been working with the Afghanistan Cricket Board and relevant stakeholders to try to find a solution to the problem and allow the team to travel,” ICC Chief of Staff Chris Tetley said in an official statement.
“In the meantime, we have rearranged the warm-up matches to ensure that the teams in the region are able to continue their preparation ahead of the start of the tournament on January 14.”
Afghanistan was scheduled to play against England and the UAE over two warm-up matches on January 10 and 12 at St. Petersburg, respectively. Kitts & Nevis and St. Paul’s. England will now play against the UAE in a warm-up at the Conaree Cricket Center on 11 January.
The teams at the U19 World Cup are divided into four groups of four teams, with Scotland being the latest to take part in the competition, replacing New Zealand, which withdrew in November due to Covid-related quarantine restrictions.
Afghanistan is ranked in Group C along with Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea. The top two teams from the pool qualify for the quarterfinals, while the bottom two from each pool compete in a playoff round.
As things stand, Afghanistan is ready to open their tournament on January 16 against Zimbabwe in Diego Martin. This will be their seventh appearance in the U19 World Cup. Since the first qualifications in 2010, they have been made every subsequent edition. Their best finish came in 2018 in New Zealand, where they reached the semifinals.