Ireland and Afghanistan become Test nations

Ireland and Afghanistan have both been granted Test match status, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said Thursday.

"Both will now be eligible to play Test cricket following a recommendation that their applications met newly approved member criteria". This was signed off on by the ICC Board in London on Thursday, during the ICC's AGM.

A vote was held in regards to admitting the two nations into the elite group that is permitted to play in the traditional five-day Test matches, with the movement receiving unanimous support.

As for Afghanistan, they made their first appearance at the 50-over World Cup in 2015, while they claimed a victory over West Indies at the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup.

Two years later, the country, still suffering from the impact of war and conflict, was given "associate member" status of the ICC.

It was met with delight by the Afghanistan Cricket Board and Cricket Ireland, with Ireland batsman Gary Wilson tweeting: "An historic day for Irish cricket". No doubt they would be as delighted as we are. "As an administrator every achievement is huge and it opens the doors to new challenges and we need to work hard to maintain and sustain our development at the top of the cricket world".

Afghanistan were granted affiliate membership in 2001.

  • Julie Sanders