Afghanistan as a cricket nation has come a long way in recent years. The ICC had already granted them affiliate status as of 2001 before they became an associate member in 2003 and eventually became a full member in 2012. They have carved a mark on the world stage, making Afghanistan cricket known to the rest of the world. The worldwide presence is enough motivation to finally create the Afghanistan Premier League in 2018.
|Date||Time||Home Team||Away Team|
|20-Oct-2018||12:24||Paktia Panthers||Kabul Zwanan|
|21-Oct-2018||14:00||Balkh Legends||Kabul Zwanan|
It was in August of 2018 when the ICC approved the creation of the Afghanistan Premier League. The Afghanistan Cricket Board runs APL and is headquartered in Kabul. It is the official governing body of cricket in Afghanistan.
It was in October of 2018 when the very first Afghanistan Premier League season took place, and at that time, there were five teams competing against each other across 23 matches. The matches were held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, and it surpassed the record for hosting the most number of ODIs of any cricket ground. It has hosted many big events in the past, especially games significant to Afghanistan.
The Afghanistan Premier League (APL) is a cricket tournament patterned on the Twenty20 format. However, the country is facing some issues hindering the game from being played in its home country. Hence, the matches take place in the United Arab Emirates; the same country that hosted games for Indian leagues.
The organizers decided to conduct the match in October because it is not in conflict with any other cricketing leagues. Other cricket leagues will be happening before September, such as the Pakistan Premier League, Indian Premier League, Super Smash, and Big Bash League. Major leagues in South Africa and Bangladesh are usually held at the end of the year.
The Afghanistan Premier League started off slow and quiet until it guaranteed solid support from cricketers around the world. It also gave players the opportunity to shake off pre-season cobwebs and consider trying out a new league.
Five teams participate in the Afghanistan Premier League. Each team represents various regions in the country. These are the following:
Balkh Legends – This cricket team represents Mazar-i-sharif, the fourth largest city in Afghanistan, located in the northern part of the country. During the debut season, Simon Helmot was in charge. Helmot is an Australian cricketer who is the owner of the Melbourne Renegades, who play in the Big Bash League.