Afghanistan National Cricket

By Piyush

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Cricket has been played in Afghanistan since the mid-19th century, but it was only in the early contemporary era that the national team began to relish victory. The Afghanistan Cricket Board initiated in 1995 and became an associate member of the ICC in 2001 and a member of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in 2003. After nearly a tenner of playing international cricket in 2017, at an ICC meeting in London, full ICC Membership (and therefore Test status) was allowed to Afghanistan. Beside Ireland, this took the number of Test cricket playing nations to 12. It is the first country to ever accomplish Full Member status after holding Affiliate Membership of the ICC.

The team is positioned 9th in Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket as of January 2021, and holds the world record for the highest ever T20I score, with their score of 278/3 facing Ireland at Dehradun in 2019.

In August 2021, worries and hesitations were raised over the involvement of the Afghanistan national cricket team in the upcoming international matches ever since Afghanistan was brought under the domination of the Taliban. Concerns were raised on the security of national cricketers and their families who were still in Afghanistan during the Taliban coup in 2021. As of August 2021, three of the Afghan women’s national cricket team had shifted to Canada, while the others were uneasy of how they, as women, would be served by the Taliban.

Taliban spokesmen said that the Taliban would not interfere the men’s cricket team’s participation in international matches and that they would permit Afghanistan to play its first ever bilateral series against Pakistan in Sri Lanka which scheduled to commence in September 2021.

Despite the political disturbance, Afghanistan cricket team’s media manager Hikmat Hassan affirmed that Afghanistan would participate in the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup which is in Dubai.

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