Afghanistan players celebrate during the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup played in India.
Afghanistan players celebrate during the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup played in India. Manish Swarup

Afghanistan to make Test debut against India

CRICKET: Afghanistan's first Test match shapes as a true challenge with the world's top-ranked team India to host the cricketing minnows in their first five-day match since attaining full status.

Afghanistan was, along with Ireland, granted Test status in June by the International Cricket Council.

Ireland's first Test match will be on home soil against Pakistan in May 2018.

Afghanistan were scheduled to make their debut against Australian but Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials have confirmed they will host their neighbours in a Test series in 2019.

The BCCI did not confirm a date for the historic visit but reports suggest the match will be scheduled during India's home season in 2019/20.

"Afghans were scheduled to play their first Test in 2019 versus Australia but considering the historic relationship between India and Afghanistan, we decided to host their first Test,” BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said in New Delhi.

Afghanistan's Rashid Khan, foreground, celebrates the dismissal of Bangladesh's Sabbir Rahman during the second one-day international cricket match in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Afghanistan's Rashid Khan celebrates after claiming a wicket during a one-day international. A. M. Ahad

India has acted as a mentor for Afghanistan cricket, allowing the national side from the war-torn nation to play home matches for shorter formats of the game on the outskirts of Delhi.

Earlier this year, spin sensation Rashid Khan and former captain Mohammad Nabi became the first two Afghan players to be picked in the Indian Premier League auctions.