Afghanistan granted Test Status

The fairy-tale rise of the Afghanistan National Cricket Team has reached a new height with the granting of Test Status. New teams have not been granted Test status since 2000 and the International Cricket Council decision to grant this to Afghanistan and Ireland's teams has caused much jubilation. It increases the number of countries competing at the top level of international cricket to 12.They are the first admissions since Bangladesh gained Test status in 2000. The two countries, who already have one-day and Twenty20 international status, have enjoyed notable successes against Test-playing nations in global competitions in recent years. Ireland, who are 12th in the ICC one-day rankings, beat England in the 2011 World Cup, four years after a shock victory over Pakistan in the same competition. Afghanistan, currently 10th in the rankings, drew an ODI series with T20 world champions West Indies this month.The changes were passed unanimously at the ICC full council meeting at The Oval. Afghanistan Cricket Board chief executive Shafiq Stanikzai said: "For a nation like Afghanistan it is a huge and remarkable achievement. "The entire nation will be celebrating across all five regions and different provinces - it is the perfect Eid gift."