"I am delighted that the BCCI has agreed to extend a helping hand to Afghanistan and will formally welcome them into the Test arena by playing their first-ever Test," Rai said in a statement.
"The game of cricket can be further enriched when more and more countries take part," he added. The BCCI, in its latest Future Tours Programme (FTP) finalised at a Special General Meeting on Monday, announced that Afghanistan, a team that has made rapid strides despite the constant troubles back home, will play its first ever Test against India.
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri said he was looking forward to the historic clash, which will take place in the 2018-19 season, and further details of the match would be announced soon.
"We have been working closely with the officials of Afghanistan Cricket Board and look forward to seeing history being made.
"We are aware that fans from both the nations are eagerly waiting for the historic clash. The BCCI will work with the Afghanistan Cricket Board and announce the details shortly," he said.
The war-ravaged country had earned the Test status, alongside Ireland, this June, realising their five-day cricket dream after impressive performances in ODIs and T20 Internationals.
Besides welcoming them into five-day cricket, the BCCI has also extended a helping hand to Afghanistan on a number of occasions.
Afghanistan has hosted its home games in India, most recently the series against Ireland in Greater Noida. Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi became the first set of Afghanistan cricketers to be bought at the IPL auction earlier this year and left a strong impression with impressive performances.
First Published: December 12, 2017, 1:53 PM IST