Manama [Bahrain], February 6 (ANI): The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has increased Afghanistan's share from Asia Cup earnings as a part of their revised financial distribution model, which comes as a highly important measure to help the growth of the sport in a cash-strapped Afghanistan.
After they became a full-time ICC member in 2017, Afghanistan earned a lower share during the 2018 and 2022 editions of the Asia Cup, with other full members divvying up the earning equally.
But under the new model, all Test playing nations including Afghanistan will be getting an equal amount from ACC. It will raise Afghanistan's share from 6 per cent to 15 per cent. Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be receiving 15 per cent each as well and their share will be less than it was before. They will be doing so to accommodate the rise in Afghanistan's revenue. The rest of the money will go to associates and affiliate teams.
"The increase in our ACC funding will greatly benefit the technical as well as the administrative aspects of Afghanistan Cricket," Mirwais Ashraf, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chairman told ESPNcricinfo.
"We are grateful for the support of the ACC and its member countries, and look forward to utilising these resources for taking Afghan cricket forward.""This is a major move in our favour, and we are confident that this increased funding will contribute significantly to the continued growth and success of this game in our country," the ACB chief concluded.
The increase in revenue, agreed upon during a recent ACC meeting in Bahrain last week has come at a perfect time for Afghanistan. Last October, the Afghanistan takeover by the Taliban plunged ACB into a financial crisis as their cash flow from ICC revenue was affected by international sanctions. Consequently, ACB was not able to pay full salaries to its staff for two months and cancelled a domestic regional-level one-day cricket tournament as well.
But local sponsors, government funding helped it get back to its feet by December. ICC also pays operational costs of Afghanistan (from their share of ICC funds) incurred outside Afghanistan by mainly paying players and also vendors engaged in hosting their matches in UAE.
ACB also faced scrutiny and pressure for not making progress with regards to women's cricket, with a functioning women's side being a requirement for full member status with ICC. Discussion on that matter is expected to happen at the next ICC board meetings in March.
In the ACC meeting in Bahrain, the Afghanistan delegation led by Ashraf and the board's CEO Naseeb Khan discussed the possibilities of more bilateral cricket.
Earlier in January, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had reaffirmed its commitment to play a three-match T20I series against Afghanistan in March. This came after Australia's withdrawal from three scheduled ODIs against Afghans in UAE during the same window due to the Taliban's "further restrictions on women's and girls' education" in Afghanistan.
During the series, both Pakistan and Afghanistan will be sharing the broadcast revenue equally. (ANI)