Dubai, Jan 28 (IANS): Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will play a three-match T20I series at Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports Hubs Zayed Cricket Stadium on February 16, 18, and 19, the cricket boards -- Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) -- confirmed on Saturday.
The ACB has selected a preliminary list of 22 players for the preparation camp in UAE. The squad will depart for the United Arab Emirates a week before the start of the series, where the team will feature in a conditioning camp in Abu Dhabi to prepare for the series.
Notably, the T20I series is being played in accordance with the mutual cooperation agreement that was recently signed between Afghanistan and the Emirates Cricket Boards. Based on the agreement, Afghanistan will play a series of three T20I matches with the UAE on an annual basis.
"We are honoured to be part of this partnership and are pleased with the results of our recent talks and negotiations with the Emirates Cricket Board," said Naseeb Khan, the CEO of the Afghanistan Cricket Board in a statement.
"Playing this T20I series is the first step in our long-term commitment and we are looking forward to a continued relationship with the ECB," he added.
Mubashshir Usmani, Emirates Cricket Board General Secretary is expecting a highly entertaining series.
"Emirates Cricket are looking forward to welcoming players and staff from Afghanistan Cricket as we embark on this journey and collaboration with them. We anticipate three very competitive, highly entertaining T20I matches," said Usmani.
This will be Afghanistan's first international assignment in 2023 and is considered a crucial preparation for a busy upcoming season, which includes several bilateral commitments and major events such as the ACC Asia Cup in September and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in October.