Bengaluru to host Afghanistan's inaugural Test
The match is likely to be played in June before India depart for a tour of Ireland and England.
What's the story?
The Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru will host Afghanistan for their inaugural Test match this year. The match will take place from June 14 and the weather in the city expected to be ideal for hosting a Test match.
In case you didn't know..
Afghanistan and Ireland were given Test status by the ICC only in June last year. In fact, Ireland are also supposed to play their first Test against Pakistan at home in May 2018. Interestingly, Afghanistan have been playing all their "home" matches at India's Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida due to security concerns in their own country.
Also, it was earlier reported that Eden Gardens in Kolkata was the frontrunner to host the new Test nation but Bengaluru now seems to be ahead in the race.
The heart of the matter
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) had expressed its desire for its team to play their first Test match against India, a wish readily granted by the BCCI. In fact, it is believed that the governments of both countries were also enthusiastic for one of Test cricket's two new members to start their journey against India in their own backyard.
India begin their lengthy tour of England from July 3, but before that, they have two T20Is scheduled to be played in Ireland in June. It is before the trip to Ireland that the Test match against Afghanistan is most likely to be scheduled.
With Afghanistan set to become the fourth nation to play their maiden Test match against India - Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh were the others - a historic ground like the Chinnaswamy Stadium might turn out to be the ideal venue for such a memorable encounter.