The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) warmly welcomes the decision of the ICC President, Mr Sharad Pawar, to request the ICC Executive Board to revisit the issue of reducing the World Cup 2015 to ten teams at the ICC Conference in Hong Kong at the end of June.

'This is wonderful news for Afghanistan and for other Associate and Affiliate members of the ICC,' Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO, Nasimullah Danish, said today, 'cricket is more than just a game for us here in Afghanistan - it is a vital part of rebuilding our country and a contribution for our country being a part of the international community. If we are excluded from participation in international cricket, Afghanistan loses an opportunity to build national unity through the game of cricket.

'As the ICC revisits this issue in June, we hope that the ICC Executive Board members will consider, in the true Spirit of Cricket, the power that cricket has to bring about change in societies like Afghanistan and see themselves as having the power to build a better world - not just a better, more convenient or more lucrative sporting competition.'

The ACB appreciates Mr Pawar's comments: "I have given this matter further serious thought and will request the Board to consider this topic once more. I can understand the views of the Associates and Affiliates and ICC will seek to deal with this issue in the best way possible."

'We hope that the door will be opened to us for the World Cup 2015 and that we can stand alongside and compete with those cricketing countries which we so much admire,' Mr Danish said.