Thursday, August 12, 2010
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.