Dublin, Jul 2: International Cricket Council (ICC) President Alan Isaac, on Monday, welcomed the news that Australia will play its first-ever game against ICC World Twenty20 2012 qualifier Afghanistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month.
Speaking in Dublin where he will watch Afghanistan play Ireland, Isaac said: "This fixture supports ICC's initiative to provide more opportunities for our top ranking Associate/Affiliate Member (AM) teams to play against better opposition. It aligns perfectly with the ICC Strategic Plan to Build a bigger, better global game by developing more competitive teams at the highest level."
Earlier on Monday, Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed that Australia, the world's top-ranked ODI side will play Afghanistan next month.
"We have already seen Pakistan play Afghanistan in Sharjah this year in a high quality match and we must commend Australia for creating this opportunity. It has always been willing to contribute to development by playing against AM nations as it recently showed when it played against Ireland.
"Furthermore, a Combined AM XI played a first-class fixture against England in Dubai, and Bangladesh will soon play against Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands during the Northern Hemisphere summer, while England will continue the rotation of playing Scotland and Ireland in alternate years.
"I am optimistic that the implementation of the Future AM Tour Schedule (FATS) will lead to even more competitive fixtures between the Full Members and our AM nations."