Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Shafiq Stanikzai has presented an argument in favour of the proposal for two-tier Test cricket, saying the side deserves the opportunity to play Tests through their solid performances in the ICC’s Intercontinental Cup first-class multi-day competition for Associates.
“We think that we are ready to play Test cricket and we have proven that,” Stanikzai told ESPNcricinfo in a recent interview. “Since we entered into the Intercontinental Cup arena, we were beaten only once. That was in the  Intercontinental Cup final where we got beaten by Ireland but that’s the only loss we have in a four-day game or multi-day game.”
Afghanistan are currently in second place behind Ireland on the 2015-17 Intercontinental Cup table after four rounds, with three wins and a rain-marred draw against Scotland.
Afghanistan’s overall record in the first-class competition is outstanding with 14 wins, one loss and four draws. Right from their debut in the competition – a high-scoring draw in which they claimed first-innings points against a Zimbabwe XI in 2009 – they have made an effort to demonstrate their versatility rather than be pigeonholed as a limited-overs specialist outfit.
Nowhere was that more evident than in their victory against a then elite Canada outfit in 2010, who at the time were preparing to play their third successive ICC World Cup.
Set a target of 494 to win in the fourth innings, Afghanistan recorded the ninth-best successful chase in first-class cricket history spearheaded by Mohammad Shahzad’s unbeaten 214. That win propelled them to a maiden Intercontinental Cup title later that year with a win over Scotland in the final. That victory also broke Ireland’s streak of three successive titles.