Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan
Chennai: The Afghanistan cricket team will train here ahead of the Under-19 World Cup qualifiers to be held in Singapore next month.
The 18-member team along with six support staff would begin training at the CSS-Whatmore Centre for Cricket at Sri Ramachandra Medical College (SRMC) campus from tomorrow.
The decision to train in Chennai was taken keeping in mind the similarity of conditions on offer in Singapore, M Sanjay, head of cricketing operations at the facility, told PTI today.
Earlier it was planned to sent the under-19 team to Noida where the Afghanistan senior team has its training base. However, Afghanistan Cricket Board, which was aware of the state-of-the-art facilities available at SRMC, chose to send the team for a 19-day preparatory camp, he said.
"The Afghan board chose Chennai, specifically CSS-Whatmore Centre because of the quality of facilities available here and also because the conditions here would be similar to those in Singapore, where the WC qualifiers are to be held," Sanjay, a former Tamil Nadu team coach said.
The Afghan under-19 team will train here and also play some matches against local Second Division teams and a combined XI comprising some promising players.
"The Afghanistan players will have net sessions and centre wicket practice and also play practice matches during their stay here," Sanjay said adding the plan was to arrange games against local sides and a XI made up of some local under-19 cricketers.
Meanwhile, the Kerala Ranji Trophy probables are training at the centre for the forthcoming season. Former Australian cricketer and renowned coach Dav Whatmore, who has been roped in as the team's coach, has been interacting with the players, Sanjay said.