Monday, December 1, 2008

In the International Spotlight...Afghanistan Cricket


The Afghan cricket team(Pashto:دافغانستان د کرکټ ملی لوبډله Dari: تیم ملی کریکت افغانستان) is a national cricket team representing Afghanistan. They have been an Affiliate Member of the ICC since 2001, and an Associate Member of the Asian Cricket Council since 2003.

Originally the Taliban regime in Afghanistan had banned cricket as they had banned most other sports, but in early 2000 there was a change of heart and the government wrote to the Pakistan Cricket Board asking for the PCB's support for an Afghan application to the ICC.

Cricket was previously little known in Afghanistan, until civil war drove many Afghans as refugees into Pakistan, where they found the game of cricket common as a leftover from the British Raj; those refugees returning brought it back to Afghanistan. In 2001, the Afghan side took part in a four-match tour of Pakistan, visiting Peshawar and Rawalpindi, and the team also visited in 2003 and 2004. In 2004 Afghanistan played in the ACC Trophy in Kuala Lumpur - the regional qualifying competition for the ICC Trophy - and performed respectably, with the highlight being a surprise win over hosts Malaysia. They finished sixth in that tournament, only just missing out on progression along the qualifying path for the 2007 World Cup by one place.

In 2006 Afghanistan hosted an MCC team led by former England captain Mike Gatting in a 40-over contest, and the Afghans won by 171 runs with Gatting being dismissed for a duck.

Later in 2006 the team competed in the ACC Trophy for the second time and finished in third place, thereby gaining entry to Division Five of the ICC World Cricket League which forms part of the qualification pathway to the 2011 World Cup. In May 2008, Afghanistan reached the final of the Division Five competition to qualify for Division Four. In the final, Afghanistan defeated Jersey, the host nation. Afghanistan defeated Hong Kong in the final of the tournament, which means they both reached WCL Division 3 too. Afghanistan kept its unbeaten record by beating Fiji, Tanzania, Jersey, Hong Kong (2 times) and Italy in the tournament. Now, they are setting for the WCL Division 3 tournament which be held in Argentina in January 2009.

2008 ICC World Cricket League Division Four Champions:
Afghanistan made a dramatic victory in Tanzania winning their all 6 played matches and at the end defeating Hong Kong in the Final by 57 runs. Afghanistan team who bat first put a target of 180 to Hong Kong, and by having the best bowlers diminished Hong Kong on just 122. Spin bowler Mohammad Nabi got 4 wickets in 9 overs with just 9 runs and bowled some of the Hong Kong's best batsmen like Butt Hussain, Najib Amar and Moneer Ahmad. Fast bowler Hamid Hassan actually broke the back-bone of Hong Kong Tabarak Dar, he was bowled. Afghanistan Cricket Team chose a new coach Kabir Khan in September 2008 prior to the tournament. Kabir Khan didn't have much time to train the team practically but he actually made the team to be ready for the games mentaly and pyschologically, because Afghanistan have played their previous games very emotionally with less patience. They played with a new tactic under Coach Kabir Khan and the results were outstanding. Afghanistan will play Division 3 in Argentina in January 2009.

2008 ACC Trophy Elite
The Afghanistan National Cricket team left the country on 23 July to participate in ACC Trophy Elite 2008. The ACC Trophy started on 25 July and ended on 03 August 2008. The ACC Trophy is the premier tournament in the Asia development region. The finalists of the ACC Trophy Elite qualify for the immediately succeeding Asia Cup where they take on Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in ODIs. Afghanistan finished 3rd in this tournament behind Hong Kong and UAE.

2008 ICC World Cricket League Division Five Champions:

Afghanistan overcame Jersey and win a dramatic ICC World Cricket League Division 5 (WCL Div. 5) final in Jersey on 31 May. In a low-scoring match at the Grainville Jersey, Afghanistan completed the target of 81 runs with two wickets to spare. Afghanistan and Jersey join Hong Kong, Fiji, Tanzania and Italy in the six-team ICC WCL Div. 4 set for the Tanzanian capital of Dar Es Salaam from 4 to 11 October. In turn, the top two teams from that tournament will progress to WCL Div. 3 in Argentina next January and hope to finish in the top two to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2009 in the UAE, which incorporates Divisions 1 and 2. The top four Associate or Affiliate teams from the ICC World Cup Qualifier will book their places at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 to be staged in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Tour to USA: Compton Cricket Club vs Afghanistan national cricket team:
A match with the Afghanistan national cricket team had been organised for June 7th. 2008. Unfortunately the match has had to be postponed due to lack of funding for the National Cricket team from Afghanistan to fly from their home camp to Los Angeles for the historical match.

The 2 clubs are working towards another date fixture for this match.

This will be the first time that a cricket team from Afghanistan has toured to America. The match will help raise money for an orphanage rebuilt by US marines in Afghanistan and continue the CCC's vital work around the world promoting greater peace through 'cricket diplomacy.

Useful Links:
Link to Afghanistani Squad members
Asian Cricket Council page on Afghanistani Cricket


*Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.


Jack Chafer said...

Nice i never actually new that they played cricket, who nows mabye in 10 years they'lll be touring England lol, i have added you on my assorted links, please do with me, ill comment on your post please do with me thanks

kamrul hasan said...

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