Thursday, August 12, 2010

A good news story from Afghanistan. No, really.

Since I've been working like crazy lately (hence the dearth of posts), I figured you all wouldn't mind something a little off the beaten path for our usual topics of discussion: Afghanistan's cricket team. After being granted ICC membership in 2001 after the fall of the Taliban regime, they played little cricket until 2009. Since then they've done fairly well for themselves, winning the Asia Cricket Council Trophy this year and sporting a winning record in ODIs, First class cricket, List A, and breaking even in Twenty20 this year. All in all, they have been one of the true success stories in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

But problems still remain, in that in spite of winning the ACC, they were omitted from the Asia Cup (the ACC champion has never been omitted from the Asia Cup before). And they'll need to do well there and in the ICC World Cup if they ever hope to attain test status. A lot of it seems to be politics as the stronger teams to the south of them don't seem intent on giving a potential rival a path to international prominence. Hopefully this will change. You can read more on this here.

Barring any crazy nonsense, Afghanistan is about to put Scotland out for around 100 in the first innings of an ICC Intercontinental first class. In a battle of highlanders, the Afghans are looking the stronger. But don't worry, Ex, there's always the second innings.

UPDATE: Nel and Smith put up a great last-wicket stand, but Scotland still out at 140 at stumps on day 2, trailing by 295. Afghanistan is bringing strong bats and bowling. Great for them.


  1. Holy crap. A blog post by Gunslinger. I thought you were dead.

  2. Thankfully I'm not. Just stoopid busy. It'll be intermittent for a little while longer, but I hope to be out of listening-silence mode for the time being.

  3. We are easily the go-to national security blog for news about the diffusion of British imperial sports to conflict-wracked regions of the developing world. Next up, a feature on the fearsome Rugby Cranes of Uganda (several of whom play for the curiously-named MTN Heathens of the Nile Special Premier League).

  4. You guys actually understand cricket?
    I spent 4 hours at Kabul Int'l with a Brit explaining the game to me.

    How a single game can last a month I do not I don't know. But, with that much leisure time, I can understand why the empire didn't hold itself together.

  5. Hi, I'm English, and I know about cricket.

    First of all, YNSN, a single match never lasts a month. I seriously hope that you were only joking. A game of cricket will last no longer than five days. Yeah, still a long time, but there is one format of that game that only lasts three hours.

    And the reason for Afghanistan not playing in the Asia Cup was mainly because Afghanistan is not commerically attractive for tv companies yet. Sadly that's why they didn't play.

    Also an update, Afghanistan beat Scotland by 229 runs today. This win has put them top of the Intercontinental Cup with one game left. Although this tournament is only for countries below the Test level, this is still very impressive from Afghanistan, and they are getting better every match.

    A good article, though some of the cricketing terminology is shocking (Afghanistan is bringing strong bats and bowling)!

  6. Thanks for the insights shortthirdman. And apologies on the terminology - I am an American after all!