A new generation of Afghans were born in the refugee camps, to integrate they had to acquire the local customs including craze for cricket. Young players like Raees Ahmadzai, Karim Sadiq, Taj Malik and Hamid Hassan would play barefoot in blazing heat with handcrafted bats, wickets and balls made out of almost anything. For them cricket was not just a sport they loved passionately to play but a mean of acceptance.
Afghan players had determination, a natural talent for the sport but a ban by Taliban in their home country meant that they continued playing in refugee camps in Pakistan waiting anxiously that one day they might just be able to play for their national team. They hoped that someday they will be able to represent their own country, holding their flag, singing their national anthem in the international arena and making their war ravaged nation proud. They continued playing and waiting despite pressure from their families to give up the sport and start looking for a real job that paid.
Hope came in form of yet another invader the Americans to oust the Taliban regime and replace it with one of their liking. As they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and that is what exactly the afghan cricket players did. They capitalized on the opportunity and brought joy to their distress nation by triumph after triumph, defeating countries like Ireland, Scotland and qualifying for both one day international and ICC T20.
With limited resource, attention from both local and international authorities, Afghan cricket players might not be the most sophisticated world class players as yet, some being uncertain about their exact birth date, but what make them special are their drive, ambition and devotion not only for the sport itself but also in depicting a respectable image of their country. For Afghans cricket is not just a game but a way of letting the regional players like England, India and Pakistan know that someday soon Inshallah we will have the ability to beat them in their own game and only then they shall treat us as equal and with respect.
Start supporting your players by any means possible, be it showing interest in the game, admiring the players’ hard work, joining their fan pages or be it ordering your personalized afghan cricket jersey to wear on the game day.
|2006||Defeated MCC in Mumbai|
|2006||Tour of England – won six out of seven matches, defeating Leicestershire 2nd XI, Essex 2nd XI, Glamorgan 2nd XI, Hoddesdon, Ditchling and the Royal Military Academy|
|2006||Third, ACC Trophy|
|2007||Finalists, ACC U-19 Elite Cup|
|2007||Joint Winners of the ACC Twenty20 Cup|
|2008||Winners, ICC World Cricket League Division 5|
|2008||Third, ACC Trophy Elite|
|2008||Winners, Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 4|
|2008||Winners, ACC U-17 Challenge Cup|
|2009||Winners, Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3|
|2009||Achieved ODI Status, ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier|
|2009||Finalists, ACC U-19 Elite Cup|
|2009||First class and ODI victory v Netherlands|
|2009||Qualifiers for ICC U/19 World Cup 2010|
|2009||Winners, ACC Twenty20 Cup|
|2010||Winners, ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier|
|2010||Winners v Canada, ninth highest run-chase in first class cricket|
|2010||Winners, ACC Trophy Elite|
|2010||Participants, ICC World Twenty20|
|2010||Third, Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 1|
|2010||Third, ACC U-16 Challenge Cup|
|2010||Finalists, Asian Games T20|
|2010||Winners, ICC Intercontinental Cup|
|2011||Winners, ACC U-19 Elite Cup|
|2011||Ninth in inaugural Reliance ICC T20I Rankings|
Active personnel qualified from ACC Courses:
|Coaches: Level I – 2, Level II – 2|
|Umpires: Level I – 41, Level II – 4|
|Curators: Module I – 2|