Let’s try and put Afghanistan’s rate of improvement into perspective

In the second series of Stranger Things, Dustin hears a noise in a bin. Ignoring the spooky music and his own fear, he goes and opens it.

Next thing we see is Dustin depositing a small obese newt thing into the tank he normally keeps his tortoise in. He feeds it a 3 Musketeers bar, making the wildly irresponsible assumption that this is an appropriate food for a creature he’s never seen before in his life.

Dart (all images via Netflix)

(According to Wikipedia, a 3 Musketeers bar is essentially a Milky Way without any caramel. It got its name because it originally came in three pieces, each with a different flavour, only for rising costs to result in strawberry and vanilla being phased out. Oddly they didn’t rename it a 1 Musketeer bar, but they absolutely should have done.)

Because of the 3 Musketeers bar, Dustin calls the creature D’Artagnan, which is pretty smart for a kid. Then, because he’s an American, he shortens it to Dart, which isn’t particularly smart, but is perfectly understandable because names always end up as one syllable eventually and you might as well just accept that.

Dustin keeps Dart. Dart grows. After about a day, he pops a pair of rear legs out – like this is the kind of you can just do on a whim.

Another day and he’s the size of a small dog and his head looks like this.

Next thing you know he’s the size of a person and he’s killing soldiers.

Turns out Dart’s a Demogorgon and honestly you don’t need to have a PhD in demonology to know that that’s a terrifying thing.

What’s interesting here is the rate of development. Things rarely progress that rapidly in real life, but one exception is the Afghanistan cricket team.

Afghanistan went out of the Asia Cup yesterday after a tied game against India. If past history is anything to go by, India will be largely unaffected by the experience while Afghanistan will be somewhere around twice as good next time they take the field.

Back in 2009 and 2010, Mohammad Nabi’s first few one-day internationals saw him make fifties against Scotland and Canada. (Afghanistan actually lost the Canada match.)

A year before that, Afghanistan had been scraping a win against Jersey in ICC World Cricket League Division Five. The target was 81 and they only made it with eight wickets down.

Nabi was out for two in that match, but yesterday he made another fifty. Against India. In a tied game.

Things have moved on.

Nabi was outscored by Mohammad Shahzad, who was out for 124 when the score was somewhat jarringly 180-6. Shahzad made a duck in that 2010 Canada defeat.

Afghanistan are a team who have at no point drawn any firm conclusions about how good they could be. At each step on their journey they’ve inevitably come up against a team that’s better than them and rather than take this as some sort of reality check, they’ve basically just resolved to instantly become better and then somehow achieved that.

Five of the side that beat Jersey have played for the national side in the last 12 months. They are basically the same bunch of guys.

One day you’re a little flappy newt in a fish tank, next day you’re a Demogorgon.


Stop, stop. Wait a minute.


Why don't you...


Get our articles by email


Follow us on Twitter


Follow us on Facebook

20 Appeals

  1. Ignoring the spoilers for now, I’m disinclined to believe that ‘rapid progress’ and Stranger Things can genuinely be associated with each other. In the first series at least, Dustin finding a creature and feeding it a Mars Bar would’ve been sufficient material to fill at least four episodes. Afghanistan deserve a better analogy.

  2. I haven’t seen Stranger Things so I’ve scrolled through most of the post only read the headline and the last few paragraphs, but I feel obliged to comment on any post/article that references the World Cricket League.

    I’m slightly surprised to learn that CricketEurope (the premier site for WCL updates, back in the day) is still going, but completely unsurprised that it doesn’t appear to have had a redesign in the last decade.

    Similarly unwilling to acknowledge the passage of time, Marcus Trescothick (anagram: ‘such a cricket storm’) has signed on for another year.

    • How many current players on the county circuit were not born when M-Tres made his Somerset debut?

    • Trescothick itself is an anagram of Cricket Shot, which is remarkable (I just remarked, so I am right). Name-anagrams are very strongly linked to a person and their habits.

      Oh, I’ve just noticed that Trescothick also anagrams to Crochets Kit, and if that weren’t enough, to Cock Her Tits. Maybe this link between the name-anagram and the person’s activities is less sure than I thought, because I don’t think Marcus does crocheting.

  3. There isn’t any caramel in a Milky Way. That’s a Mars Bar. Although, like baseball, our American cousins do things differently over there. Two nations divided by a common language has never been so apt. And I’ve still not forgiven them for the Marathon/ Snickers debacle.

    • If you’ve never tried a Hershey’s bar, JB, your disdain for transatlantic confectionery is only just beginning..

  4. Did I mention that, in season one at least, Eleven was a spitting image of KP?

  5. Contrary to what JB claims above, there is caramel in a Milky Way – in the US (which is what everyone else calls a Mars Bar).

    So is KC is really sodding yank, pretending for the last ten years to be someone from oop north? I feel misled

  6. Jonathan Trott’s career as a professional cricketer is over, as is Paul Collingwood’s.

    This is probably a good thing for over rates in division 1 of the Championship next year, as the amount of time spent marking the crease will be substantially reduced. In every other way, it’s a terrible day for cricket.

    • Imagine the outpouring of grief once Tres finally calls it a day. The BBC have got reems of footage ready for just that event. It’ll be a public holiday, at least in the westcountry. Flags at half mast. Offices, playgrounds, shopping centres etc will fall silent. Everyone will remember where they were when they heard the news.

Comments are closed.

© 2018 King Cricket

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑