The tale of Afghan cricket always gives me goosebumps. A country that has been under the shadow of wars for almost a decade, sports were something unheard of. After all, any form of sport was banned by the Taliban. But Cricket managed to get the ‘permission’ that led to the inclusion as an affiliate member of the ICC. Their journey has been a joy to watch, from affiliates to associates and now knocking the doors to become a full-time member. It’s always a joy to see the Afghans take the field. And it’s even nicer to know that an Indian is coaching the team alongside the BCCI providing great support to the nation. A new chapter unfolded in Afghanistan cricket when a couple of players were picked up for the IPL auction last month. Rest – as we all know now – is history !
IPL – a great platform
Due credits to the IPL in helping India find the best talent in the country. Names like Hardik Pandya, Ambati Rayadu and others have now become a household name. Thanks to IPL, it has proved to be a great platform for finding good talent. Not only for Indian players, but overseas players too have reaped benefits. India is considered to be one of the toughest places to tour. The turning wickets aren’t easy to bat on especially for the ‘firangis‘. But IPL has been helping them to get used to the conditions.
Talking about Afghanistan, I was over the moon when the news came in that Rashid Khan was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping 4 Cr Rs. Even their former skipper Mohammad Nabi was roped in. I’m sure many would have termed the decision to pay 4Cr for Rashid Khan unjustified. Rashid has surely silenced the sideliners. Credit to his impeccable bowling in the opening two games. I was reading an interview where Rashid spoke about playing in whites (Test Cricket) was his ultimate goal. He also mentioned that it was a dream sharing the dressing room with the likes of Warner, Yuvi, Williamson.
Afghanistan deserves full membership to the ICC
Afghanistan is probably the only team that has shown immense character and performed well every time. From starting as minnows, the team is regarded as one of the sides that can cause huge upsets. They have beaten the Associates, Ireland and Scotland number to times in crucial matches. And the T20 world cup was a reward for their hard work. However they ran out luck when they were in the same group as India and South Africa. But the team showed great courage and fighting spirit in the tournament.
Afghanistan is the only to have attained the Associate status in a short span of time. And it is evident from their performances against test playing nations like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Teams like this should be given more opportunity to play against the big names. It will be a great learning for the team that will only make them stronger as the days go by. I’m sure, the day isn’t far when the side will start playing against the top teams.
It was Rashid Khan’s stellar performance last weekend, that prompted me to write this. He will surely cement his place as a regular spinner in the team. Looking forward for some amazing performances from the young man. And I hope more and more players are picked up from associate / affiliate nations in the upcoming seasons of the IPL. So What do you think about Afghanistan’s future post IPL ? Do you think, it they deserve the full status ? Share your thoughts in the comments below.