Cricket / afghanistan
The Rise of Afghanistan
Most of the top cricket teams in the world have been playing international cricket for decades and there are still many who despite playing for long time haven't made a significant mark in the sport. Yet there are some teams although very few which have made huge improvements in a shorter period of time. One of the best examples is Afghanistan. Source Cricket was introduced by the Britishers in Afghanistan and it is said that the first match between the British and Afghanistan took place in 1839. But after the Britishers left Afghanistan, people almost forgot cricket and there were hardly any people playing it. It was during the 1990's when the refugees of Afghanistan in Pakistan started playing cricket and brought cricket back to Afghanistan which inturn led to the formation of Afghanistan Cricket Board in 1995. The journey of Afghan cricket began with the introduction of Afghanistan Cricket Board and the sport started to become popular in the county. Afghanistan became an affiliate member of International Cricket Council in 2001 which was followed by gaining the membership of Asian Cricket Council in 2003. These two events were huge victories for the Afghan cricket and they started started playing cricket professionally. Source They put in some hard work and eventually went on to play their first one day International against Scotland in 2009 and went on to win it by 89 runs. This was the start of the rise of the Afghanistan cricket. Afghanistan failed to qualify for the 2011 World Cup but earned ODI status for fourth years. They played their first t20 international in 2010 against Ireland in Colombo. They went on to play against bigger nations and also defeated a few of them including Bangladesh and Windies. It took them nine years to become only the 12th nation in the world to gain the status of test playing nation. They made their test debut in June this year against India. Source In the ongoing Asia Cup in United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan stole the show although they are out of the competition. The Afghans showed their mettle and signs of becoming one of the cricketing giants of Asia. They played their first match against Sri Lanka and defeated them by a huge margin. It was a shock for the cricket fans because Afghans were playing as under dogs but no team from now on take the Afghanis lightly. They defeated Bangladesh in their second match, again by a huge margin and topped the group. They played Pakistan after the group stages and nearly snatched the victory had we not been up for Shoaib Malik's brilliance. Their second match was against Bangladesh and again they nearly pulled it off. Afghanistan had saved their best for their last match against India and managed a tie against the number 1 ranked team in the world. Afghanistan was the best performer of the Asia Cup despite finding themselves out of the tournament. Source Afghanistan are evolving as one of the major cricket playing nations in the world and it is only a matter of few years before they become one of the giants of international cricket if they continue improving like they have been. Afghanistan have proved that they are a force to reckon with and it is hight time for the other major cricketing nations to show some respect.