KABUL — Australia this week provided the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) $21,000 in cash assistance for cricket gear for the country’s largest domestic tournament “Sixes.”

Australian Ambassador in Kabul Matt Anderson handed over the $21,000 cheque to ACB deputy chief executive officer Dost Mohammad Nazari at a ceremony held at the Australian Embassy. Other Australian Embassy, ACB officials and media representatives also attended the ceremony.

Anderson said he contributed the cash assistance in response to a request from the ACB for the Sixes tMatt Anderson, DFAT . Official Portrait. Canberra 08 December 2014.  Image David Foote AUSPIC/DPSournament and promised continued such assistance with the board. He said cricket had become one of Afghanistan national games and played a crucial role in preserving Afghanistan’s national unity.

The Australian envoy said his country and people supported the Afghanistan cricket body and recalled that when Afghanistan was playing the last World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the Australians backed the Afghan team which was their second favourite side after their own team.

ACB deputy CEO Dost Mohammad Nazari thanked the Australian government and the Embassy for the assistance and said Australia had always assisted cricket in Afghanistan. Nazari said Afghanistan needed international assistance to enable the cricket board to stand on its own feet.

Ambassador Anderson said that cricket has been institutionalized as a national sport in Afghanistan and because of this Australia took the decision to help develop the sport.

The development of cricket has also had a beneficial impact on the people of the country. “It provides your country with role models; it provides your country with the opportunity to put Afghanistan on the world stage in a positive light,”

Australia has in the past provided assistance for Afghan cricketers. This year they facilitated training camps in Australia and New Zeland for the Afghan team ahead of this year’s World Cup.