Discover more from Learning by Proxy with Vivek Srinivasan
For a country supposedly ruled by "terrorist", their sports team seems to be performing splendidly!
I have been following the Afghanistan cricket team with awe!
Afghanistan qualified directly to the Cricket World Cup in 2022. The teams that did not get a direct birth included West Indies who were former World Cup winners in 1975 and 1979 as well as Sri Lanka which was the 1996 World Cup Winner. Alongside that, a host of rich nations like UAE, USA, Ireland, and Scotland, who have a history of the game did not qualify for the World Cup.
Afghanistan, a country with limited sporting infrastructure, even more limited financial resources and anaemic trade is able to produce a team that is able to compete at the international stage.
During the Asia Cup, they nearly qualified for the final four. They missed out by a few runs. They were playing Sri Lanka and almost got what SL had scored in 50 overs in less than 38 overs. You could see the interest in the match as the stadium in Pakistan was filled with Afghan folks. Every shot was being cheered on!
On the 3rd of October, fielding 2 separate teams - one at the Asian Games and another for the World Cup warm-up game in India, Afghanistan defeated Sri Lanka at both venues.
World Cup Warm-Up
Asian Games T-20
They went on to qualify for the Finals in the Asian games and had to settle for Silver since the match was rained out and India had a superior performance throughout the tournament
Asian Games T-20 - Final
For a country that is branded as being in a state of anarchy; for a country that is supposedly being administered by terrorists; I would say their sports team is performing rather splendidly. This then leads to the question - is it really anarchy or is it being painted that way?
I find Afghani fans in the stand, enjoying the matches. They feel proud of their nation and their people. Maybe they are refugees, maybe not. It is great for the country to be in public view. For these teams to move to other countries and take back those expectations of life to Afghanistan.
It is incredible to see what this team is doing and also what it could mean for the nation as a whole. This integrates them into the cultural streams outside of their nation and provides greater exposure to them and their nation.