ICC Rewards Winning Run with Funding

KABUL, Oct 26 (Reuters): The International Cricket Council has pledged funds for Afghanistan's team after it won a tournament in Tanzania that could pave the way for a 2011 World Cup berth.

The international governing body made the decision last week as part of its incentive programme designed to reward nations new to the sport that have shone in regional tournaments, the head of Afghanistan's Cricket Federation said.

"Based on the pledge, Afghanistan's cricket federation will receive between five to six hundred thousand dollars for the coming five years from the International Cricket Council," Allah Daad Noori said.

Afghanistan went unbeaten in two World Cup qualifying tournaments this year, the second of which was the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 in Tanzania, where they clinched a place in next January's Division 3 competition in Argentina.

The top two sides from the six nations competing there will progress to the 12-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, from which the four semi-finalists will advance to the 2011 finals.

Cricket is still relatively new in Afghanistan.