The history of the Afghanistan national cricket team is a tale of struggle and the determination it takes to overcome all odds and obstacles. Although the earliest recorded history of cricket in Afghanistan is of British troops playing in Kabul in 1839, it wasn't until the 1990s that cricket really took off in a country that was in constant turmoil. And it would take a couple of more decades before Afghanistan cricket was flourishing on the international arena.
Afghanistan cricket history
Afghanistan cricket was established by the Afghan refugees in Pakistan, who formed the Afghanistan Cricket Board in 1995. Although the sport was originally banned by the Taliban, it became the only sport to be approved by the Taliban in 2000.
Even after that, Afghanistan cricket team's road to international cricket was far from straightforward. Although they became an ICC Affiliate member in 2001, it wasn't until 2013 that they even became an ICC Associate member. Until they earned their Associate status, they played in the second tier of Pakistani domestic cricket even as US began to invade their country at the same time.
Afghanistan cricket history is one that shows us the power of determination and an undying will to make it to the top. After a couple of tournaments in Pakistan, Afghanistan cricket team slowly started to play Asian regional tournaments.
Afghanistan T20I, ODI, Test Status
In 2011, although Afghanistan cricket team failed to progress to the World Cup, they earned ODI status for four years.
They won the ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2009-10, were runners-up in 2011-13 and won again in 2015-17. In the World Cricket League, they rapidly rose through the ranks as they won the Division Five, Division Four and Division Three titles in the space of two years.
12 years after initially getting affiliate membership, Afghanistan cricket team finally became an Associate member in 2013. Four years after that, just over two decades after the inception of the Afghanistan cricket board, they gained Full member status and along with Ireland, became the 11th and 12th team to gain Test status. Afghanistan test cricket got underway in Bengaluru but it was a debut to forget as they lost their maiden Test by an innings and 262 runs inside two days.
Afghanistan national cricket team roster features several players who began their journey to international cricket in Pakistan. Afghanistan cricket team players have shown that they can compete with the best teams in the shorter formats of the game.
Afghanistan cricket squad includes Mohammad Nabi who is the country's leading run-getter and wicket-taker in ODIs. In T20Is, it is Nabi who is the leading wicket-taker but Mohammad Shahzad holds the national record for most runs. Currently, Afghanistan cricket captain Asghar Stanikzai is fourth on the list of most runs in ODIs and T20Is for the country. Phil Simmons is the current Afghanistan cricket coach.
As they are unable to play in the war-torn nation of Afghanistan, they have been forced to play their home games elsewhere. Their relationship with the BCCI has been hugely beneficial for Afghanistan cricket as the current Afghanistan cricket home ground is in India. They have played their home matches in the stadiums in Noida and Dehradun.
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