Ireland and Afghanistan attain Test status after ICC grant them full membership

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Ireland and Afghanistan have attained Test status after they were granted full membership by the International Cricket Council.

The ICC met for its annual conference in London on Thursday and confirmed Ireland and Afghanistan as full members after a unanimous vote.

Ireland have been playing as affiliate members since 1993 and have recorded famous victories over Pakistan, England and the West Indies in that time.

Now they will be able to play Test cricket against the world’s best, with Afghanistan also making the step up having only achieved affiliate membership in 2013.

The ICC confirmed the news on Thursday afternoon, posting on Twitter: “@ACBofficials and @Irelandcricket confirmed as Full Members after a unanimous vote at ICC Full Council meeting.

“Both will now be eligible to play Test cricket following a recommendation that their applications met newly approved member criteria.”

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Hasan Ali, Shikhar Dhawan and Tamim Iqbal feature in our Champions Trophy 2017 team of the tournament

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Sarfraz Ahmed led Pakistan superbly [Getty Images]

SHIKHAR DHAWAN (INDIA)

The Indian opener looked in complete control as he continued his golden run in ICC events, ending the tournament as the top run-getter with 338 runs.

FAKHAR ZAMAN (PAKISTAN)

The Pakistan opener breathed life into the team’s batting after he was included in the playing eleven against South Africa. His century in the final saw him named the Player of the Match.

TAMIM IQBAL (BANGLADESH)

The Bangladesh batsman notched up two fifties and one ton as he was at his best, scoring 293 runs in four innings.

JOE ROOT (ENGLAND)

The England batsman showed his class once again as he scored 258 runs which included a sublime century against Bangladesh.

VIRAT KOHLI (INDIA)

Kohli scored 258 runs in the tournament which included three half-centuries. He would be disappointed with his performance in the final though as he was dismissed for five during a brilliant spell of bowling by Mohammad Amir.

Virat Kohli.

Virat Kohli.

MOHAMMAD HAFEEZ (PAKISTAN)

The Pakistan all-rounder bowled with purpose and was superb with the bat in the semi-final (31*) and the final (57*).

SARFRAZ AHMED (PAKISTAN) (C, WK)

Sarfraz captained a team that looked to be struggling at the start of the tournament in a calm yet firm manner. He was the force behind Pakistan’s rise to the top.

ADIL RASHID (ENGLAND)

With seven wickets, he was the most successful spinner in the tournament.

MOHAMMAD AMIR (PAKISTAN)

Amir’s three wickets in the final showed why you should always have such a match-winner in your side.

BHUVNESHWAR KUMAR (INDIA)

Bhuvneshwar (seven wickets) swung the ball and was immaculate in every game.

HASAN ALI (PAKISTAN)

The 23-year-old revived Pakistan’s fortunes with the ball. Named the Player of the Tournament after picking up the most wickets (13), his future looks very bright.

12th MAN – BEN STOKES (ENGLAND)

Having scored 184 runs and taken three wickets, Stokes continued to show why he is considered as one of the top cricketers in the world currently.

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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Hasan Ali stars for Pakistan, South Africa's AB de Villiers flops with the bat

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The stars of the tournament: Shikhar Dhawan and Hasan Ali [Getty Images]

The 2017 ICC Champions Trophy came to a conclusion on Sunday with Pakistan lifting the trophy for the first time.

The tournament saw its fair share of brilliant individual performances, but there were some disappointing displays as well from players who were expected to sparkle.

Here, we have a look at the hits and misses.

HITS

HASAN ALI (PAKISTAN)

Matches: 5, Wickets: 13, Best: 3-19, Econ: 4.29

The right-arm quick took the tournament by storm after conceding 70 runs against India in Pakistan’s first group stage match. He took three wickets in each of his next four games while making the biggest impact in the middle overs. He was named as the Player of the Tournament.

SHIKHAR DHAWAN (INDIA)

Matches: 5, Runs: 338, Best: 125, Avg: 67.60

There were doubts over his selection as he was no longer a regular member of the Indian team across formats. But Dhawan batted like a million dollars and extended his fine run in ICC tournaments, ending the tournament as the leading run-getter.

FAKHAR ZAMAN (PAKISTAN)

Matches: 4, Runs: 252, Best: 114, Avg: 63.00

After watching him bat in the tournament, the question to ask is – why wasn’t he in the Pakistan team earlier? Zaman brought aggression to Pakistan’s batting at the top of the order and held the line-up together.

MISSES

AB DE VILLIERS (SOUTH AFRICA)

Matches: 3, Runs: 20, Best: 16, Avg: 6.66

His struggles with form and fitness had been going on for some time and in England, it all fell apart. For the captain of the No.1 ODI side in the world, it was a steep fall.

It was a disappointing tournament for AB de Villiers [Getty Images]

It was a disappointing tournament for AB de Villiers [Getty Images]

MUSTAFIZUR RAHMAN (BANGLADESH)

Matches: 4, Wickets: 1, Best: 1-52, Econ: 6.31

The Bangladesh seamer was supposed to be the X-factor in the team. But ever since his shoulder injury, Mustafizur hasn’t been quite the same bowler. The flat wickets also negated his variations.

JASON ROY (ENGLAND)

Matches: 3, Runs: 18, Best: 13, Avg: 6.00

At the beginning of the tournament, captain Eoin Morgan said Roy will be persisted with. But Roy’s woeful form continued and was eventually dropped. He now has one double digit score in his last six ODIs.

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