Monday, January 5, 2009

Afghanis on a High

Remember when I talked about the World Cricket Leagues and explained the process that led to qualification for the ICC World Cup.

And remember when Sledge talked about the progress that Afghanistan had made in the World Cricket Leagues.

I don't hold it against you if you don't.

Well the Qualification process has reached Division 3 now where the winners of Division 4 join Argentina, Cayman Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda.

The only thing I knew about the Cayman Islands was that it was a popular place to register companies and funds due to some tax exempt or something.

They play cricket as well. Thats amazing.

The team from Division 4 that is joining them is none other than Afghanistan.

Damn lucky those Afghanis are for travelling to Buenos Aires.

Thats where Division 3 of the World Cricket League will kick off later this month.

I want to go to Buenos Aires. Its beautiful I hear.

And its hosting a cricket tournament. Wow!

In Argentina. That used to be my favorite soccer team.

Loved Maradona before he became soccer's own Mohammad Asif.

I wonder if Maradona has ordered some special stuff through the Afghans. You don't get better than that.

Ask Asif!

And you don't get a better associate nation than Afghanistan.

Ask any Division 5 and Division 4 associate nation!

Afghanistan have marched into Division 3 of the World Cricket League by winning both the previous divisions.

Afghanistan have lost only 1 World Cricket League match on their way to Division 3 where they are up against Argentina, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, and the Cayman Islands.

From what I hear about the Afghani cricketers, I would be surprised if they don't win Division 3 as well.

The top 2 teams from Division 3 will join Division 1 and 2 for the ICC World Cup Qualifiers that will be held this year.

I believe, we can count the Afghanis to be there for the qualifiers.

Thats where they will be up against the best: UAE, Namibia, Kenya, Scotland, Netherlands, Canada, Ireland, Bermuda, Oman, and Denmark.

Currently the Afghanistan cricket team is in Lahore practicing at the National Cricket Academy.

They are receiving valuable tips from Aqib Javed, Ijaz Ahmed, and Rashid Latif.

Besides the practice facilities, they are also playing some practice matches against Pakisani domestic sides.

Valuable experience this for the Afghan cricketers.

If you want an idea of what kind of team Afghanistan might be - i'd say imagine a team with 11 Shahid Afridis.

On there day, they can demolish anyone. Here are scorecards of the Division 4 and Division 5 finals.

Make your pitch on this post...

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6 Pitched:

  1. A P Webster said...

    I'm looking forward to seeing if Afghanistan can make it through - but things get tough from here on in, with the World Cup Qualifier itself (featuring Bermuda, Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands and former semi-finalists Kenya) on the horizon.

  2. David Barry said...

    I'm very hopeful for Afghanistan, since of all the low-division minnows, they're the country with the most potential to rise to ODI level and do it without expats.

    Argentina are one of my favourite minnows - they played first-class cricket back in the 1930's, including a draw or two against the MCC, but cricket then mostly died in that country. So it is good to see them hovering around Div 2/3, even though they don't have the talent to go any higher.

    I'd like to see Argentina and Afghanistan make the World Cup qualifiers, but Uganda should provide some competition.

    But AP is right, the qualifier will be tough. Only four go through, and two of those will surely be Kenya and Ireland, and Namibia has been very good in the four-day Intercontinental Cup lately.

    I'll be cheering for my former country of residence Oman, though, in April.

  3. Six & Out said...

    Quite informative there Q, It would be good to see Afganistan and Argentina in the big leagues, however I hope ICC dont rush them into ODI status etc before they are capable of handling international cricket. We dont want anymore Bangladesh's type teams in cricket.

  4. Q said...

    Things will def get tougher AP, but as DB says its good to see a minnow nation without expats do well. They have been consistent and thats what makes them good. I reckon they can compete well with the likes of Netherlands, Kenya, Ireland. Maybe even Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

    There's a case for splitting the international circuit into World Cricket Leagues. Maybe that will make games more competitive.

  5. Q said...

    DB, thats news to me abt Argentina. Had no idea.

    Don't count on Ireland being there. The UAE is shaping up really well. I have a feeling they will get there plus Kenya ofcourse.

    Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlans all stand a chance.

  6. Q said...

    Six & Amp, I don't think the ICC will be rushing anyone into any kind of status anytime soon.

    Having said that, the improvement in Bangladesh is visible.

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