Afghanistan has named Australian Peter Anderson as their new Cricket Academy coach. Anderson coached Papua New Guinea for two years before coming to Kabul. â€œI am excited to be here,â€ the 52-year-old said in a press release issued by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB). â€œI hope I can make a contribution to the quality of cricket here. I will start slowly, watching, listening and learning.â€
â€œWe are pleased to be welcoming a person of Peter Andersonâ€™s calibre to head our new Afghanistan Cricket Academy,â€ said Noor Mohammad Murad, head of the ACB. â€œHe brings to us 35 years of cricketing experience both in Australia and internationally. His experience with Papua New Guinea, a developing cricket country, will fit him well.â€
Anderson played 56 first-class matches for Queensland and South Australia as a wicketkeeper, scoring 1399 runs at an average of 17.93. Anderson will head the new academy, which will seek out and train players from youth level through to the full national squad.
Afghanistanâ€™s cricket team has made big strides over the last decade, gaining one-day status in 2009. The team has featured in three World Twenty20 tournaments and qualified for the 2015 one-day World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The International Cricket Council has given $US1 million funding to each of four World Cup qualifiers – Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Ireland and Scotland – and has arranged training camps in Australia and New Zealand later this year. Afghanistan is in Group A along with Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Bangladesh, England and Sri Lanka. They will also feature in this yearâ€™s Asian Games tournament in Incheon, South Korea. The cricket World Cup will take place in Australia and New Zealand in February and March of 2015.