Just a reminder that Afghanistan are playing in this World T20

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Regardless of how they’re performing, it’s worth taking a moment to ponder that anew. Afghanistan are playing cricket. Afghanistan.

And indeed cricket. The sport hasn’t exactly gone viral. Most of the time it seems hell-bent on playing out behind some sort of paywall, yet somehow Afghanistan has barged its way into the private party and is busying itself having a fine old time. Perhaps it’s the only country to have built up the sheer endurance needed to jump through the ICC’s endless line of hoops.

There is of course no optimal time to take to cricket. The sport became established at a time in British history when loads of toffs were dicking about playing all sorts of different games because they had sod all better to do. Afghanistan came to the game much more recently. They paused, took a look around, thought: “Well, everything seems to be going pretty much swimmingly here now. Seems about the right time to take up the gentlemen’s game of cricket.”

Or not. In actual fact, it’s previously been claimed that cricket might be a means of helping Afghanistan rebuild society.

For a bit more background about cricket in Afghanistan, you could do a lot worse than watching Out of the Ashes. We’re going to watch it again ourself at some point in the next few days.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. With reference to rebuilding society through cricket, this may be of interest to anyone who (i) hasn’t read it already and (ii) is willing to read articles on the Daily Telegraph website

  2. I can report that Tim Albone is in fine fettle though sadly he has departed from Afghan and/or cricket journalism, and indeed journalism full stop.

    Absolutely smashing chap by the way. Married a top bird too.

  3. I had a copy of that Out of the Ashes DVD, kindly provided
    by this very website. I say “had”, because someone at the cricket club borrowed it a couple of years ago. I say “borrowed”, but of course I mean “stole”. And I say “someone”, but of course I mean “some filthy DVD stealing thief with the morals of a gutter rat”.

    That competition was one of the highlights of my life. I never win anything, but I won that. Admittedly many other people also won, but crucially some people didn’t. That meant I was officially better than them at something, not just in the eyes of my mother, but in the opinion of a highly respected authority in world cricket. And while the DVD has gone, my Certificate of Winning remains in pride of place above the mantelpiece. The certificate didn’t come from here though; my mother made it for me. She was so proud.

    1. That’s funny. Seems like some scoundrel’s had our copy as well.

      And yet we still have in our possession: ‘Graeme Swann presents… Swanny in a Spin! Cricket Gone Crazy’

      It’s an unjust world.

  4. Something I really like is that the team is actually Afghani, not just ex-pats who work there, which is far too common in the Associate nations. Some of the Test nations too, for that matter…

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