Appreciable Journey for Afghanistan Cricket as they make their people proud


Appreciable Journey for Afghanistan Cricket as they make their people proud

A people barred by fundamentalism and jarred by struggles and hardhip over decades sees a ray of hope in the cricket arena

 
Afghanistan Cricket Writes History T20 World Cup 2024
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It was a pleasure to watch the passion with which Afghanistan sealed their place in their first ever ICC Tournament Semi Final. Afghanistan beat Bangladesh by 8 runs to book their place in the Semi Finals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 underway in the West Indies/USA. This win takes them to second place purely in terms of points and they beat Australia on the points table after beating them in all the four aspects of the game - batting, bowling, fielding and temperament in their face-off earlier on 23 June. This is the first knockout stage entry by Afghanistan in a tournament of this stature.

The Pathan traits of Resilience and Passion have been the two elements of this cricket team, that has found its way up from the depth of hardships and struggles in their parent country. The people of Afghanistan, over the years have been living in political conflict, first by the Russians (Soviet Union then) and then the Americans; during escalation of the Cold War and then followed by the Gulf War and post 9/11 conundrum faced by the US where it centred its attention on Afghanistan as harbouring the Al Qaeda. Over decades, the Afghans first faced the dominance by the Russians, then the Taliban, then the US and then again the Taliban, who now rule the country. This history of fundamentalism, political conflicts and dominance by foreign powers, never let the country grow to its full potential as a nation, sports being one of the areas. The Taliban who run government in Afghanistan, have said that they would not disrupt the cricket team participation in international tournaments.

Afghanistan Beat Bangladesh Create History

However, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) played a very significant role in nuturing the Afghan cricket team over the years. Financial and technical support from the BCCI has ensured that Afghan, who qualified for the T20 World Cup in 2010 as an Associate Nation, was recognised as a full fledged test playing nation in 2017. The Afghan cricketers, over the years, have not let the fans of their cricket crazy nation down, and this time, they have beaten the mighty Australians, all but showing them the exit from the T20 World Cup 2024. Today, after beating Bangladesh in the final Super 8 low scoring match, they sealed the fate of the Australians after becoming the fourth team to qualify for the Semis. They take on South Africa in the first Semi Final on 27 June, while India take on the reigning T20 World Champions England in the second Semi Final on 27 June itself.

Afghanistan beat Bangladesh history

The qualification of the Afghan team in the 2015 World Cup, their first, was a historic feat for the war torn country. The team included many players, who had learnt the game while living in the refugee camps outside of Afghanistan. The team just won the game against Scotland... but after that they have never looked back.

The Afghan team, that has got a lot of support from BCCI, trained at Noida and now to their home ground in Dehradun and host their home games in Sharjah, UAE.. The team has trained under the likes of Inzamam Ul Haq, Rashid Latif, Lalchand Rajput. Afghanistan has faced the best teams in the world and after competing as minnows, now are a force to reckon with. After the formation of the Afghanistan Cricket Board in 1995, they became an Affiliate member of ICC in 2001 and member of Asian Cricket Council in 2003. After getting Associate Membership of ICC in 2017, they got full membership and Test Playing Nation status in 2017. Rashid Khan, their T20 captain, is one of the leading spinners in the cricket world today and a known face in IPL. Their opening of pair of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran had three 100-plus partnerships in this tournament. They hold the record for Most 100+ stands in a single edition of T20 World Cup.

While the T20 World Cup is yet to see its winner, this feat by Afghanistan as being among the top four in this years tournament is an achievement that will make every Afghan proud and resonate positively with cricket lovers and critics across the world.

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