Since the mid-19th century, people have been involved in playing cricket in Afghanistan. But it was in the early 21st century when the Afg cricket team gained success.
In the year 1995, the Afghanistan cricket board was shaped, and they became an ICC member in the year 2001. They were also made a member of the ACC i.e., the Asian Cricket Council in the year 2003.
The team got complete ICC membership on 22 June 2017. As of June 2020, they hold the 10th rank in T20I cricket.
Also, the Afghanistan cricket team players hold the world record of making 278/3 (highest ever T20 score) vs Ireland held at Dehradun on 23 February 2019.
History of Afghanistan Cricket
History tells a story of determination and struggles it takes to overcome all obstacles. In the year 1839, British troops were involved in playing cricket in Kabul of Afghanistan.
After that, in the 1990s, the game of cricket gained immense popularity among the Afghan refugees who were living in Pakistan. It also took a couple of more decades before the cricket in Afghanistan flourished in the international arena.
We can see the power of determination in Afghanistan cricket history and they always strive to be in the top position.
Prominent Afghanistan National Cricket Team Players
Rashid Khan, Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahaman
|Rahmat Shah||27||Batsman||Right Handed|
|Azmatullah Omarzai||20||Bowler||Right Arm Medium Seam|
|Qais Ahmad||20||Bowler||Right Arm Leg spin|
|Mujeeb ur Rahman||19||Bowler||Right Arm Off spin|
|Rashid Khan||22||Bowler||Right Arm Leg spin|
|Asghar Afghan||33||Batsman||Right Handed|
|Mohammad Shahzad||32||Wicket Keeper||Right Handed|
|Rahmanullah Gurbaz||19||Wicket Keeper||Right Handed|
|Ihsanullah Janat||23||Batsman||Right Handed|
|Naveen-ul-Haq||21||Bowler||Right Arm Fast Seam|
|Raees Ahmadzai||36||Middle Order Batsman||Right Handed|
|Samiullah Shenwari||33||Bowler||Right Arm Leg spin|
|Mohammad Nabi||35||All-rounder||Right Handed|
|Wafadar Momand||20||Bowler||Right Arm Medium Seam|
|Gulbadin Naib||29||All-rounder||Right Handed|
|Yamin Ahmadzai||28||Bowler||Right Arm Fast Seam|
|Karim Janat||22||Bowler||Right Arm Medium Seam|
|Hazratullah Zazai||22||Opening Batsman|
|Mohammad Salamkheil||19||Bowler||Left Arm Unorthodox|
|Usman Ghani||24||Batsman||Right Handed|
|Najibullah Zadran||27||Middle Order Batsman|
|Ikram Ali Khil||20||Wicket Keeper|
|Noor Ali Zadran||32||Batsman||Right Handed|
|Dawlat Zadran||32||Bowler||Right Arm Fast Seam|
|Shapoor Zadran||33||Bowler||Left Arm Fast Seam|
Afghanistan Cricket Team Coach
Lance Klusener, who was the former all-rounder of South Africa, is the present head coach of the Afghanistan team.
Afghanistan Cricket Team Captain
Asghar Afghan, a right-handed batsman, is the present Afghanistan team captain. Although, he was removed from the captaincy before the 2019 World Cup.
Rashid Khan was made the Afghanistan captain at that time. But, a few days back, the former captain Asghar Afghan was re-appointed as the Afghanistan cricket team captain.
ODI, Test and T20I Status of Afghanistan
- In the year 2011, the national cricket team of Afghanistan failed to go ahead in the World Cup, but they received ODI status for four years.
- Also, they won the ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2009-10, were runners-up in 2011-13, and winners again in 2015-17.
- By winning the Division Three, Division Four, and Division Five titles in the space of two years, their rank went up rapidly in the World Cricket League.
- The cricket team of Afghanistan ultimately became an associate member in the year 2013 after 12 years of receiving affiliate membership. They also achieved the ‘Full Member’ status along with Ireland, two decades after setting-up of the cricket board of Afghanistan.
- Both Afghanistan and Ireland became the 11th and 12th teams to receive the test status respectively. The Afghanistan cricket team made their debut in test cricket in Bengaluru but, unfortunately, they lost this test match by 262 runs and an innings in two days.
- The Afghanistan national cricket team roster features different players who started their international cricket journey in Pakistan. Also, the talented players of the Afghanistan cricket team have shown their ability to compete with the best teams in short game formats.
- Mohammed Nabi holds an important place in the Afghanistan cricket squad. He is the leading wicket-taker and run-getter of the country in ODIs. Also, in the T20I format, Nabi is considered to be the leading wicketkeeper.
- On the other hand, Mohammad Shahzad is the holder of national records for most runs. The current captain of Afghanistan, Asghar Stanikzai, ranks 4th on the list of most runs in T20Is and ODIs for the country.
- As they face a lot of difficulties playing in the war-torn nation of Afghanistan, this is the main reason why they have been forced to play their home games at other places.
- Also, Afghanistan cricket holds a very good relationship with the BCCI as their current cricket home ground is in India. They have played some of their home matches in the stadiums of Dehradun and Noida.
Exciting Facts About the Afghanistan Cricket Team
- The spinners are the biggest strength of Afghanistan, and the team possesses three world-class specialist bowlers – Mujeeb ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi, and Rashid Khan.
- Rashid is a top-ranked bowler in the T20 format. Also, he comes third in the bowler's list for the 50-over format.
- Hasan, 31 years old, has played about 32 one-day internationals. He was also a part of the maiden appearance of Afghanistan at the 50-over World Cup in New Zealand and Australia, four years back.
Afghanistan Cricket’s Next Match
The upcoming match of Afghanistan will be from 21 Nov 2020, Sat to 25 Nov 2020, Wed. This will be the Afghanistan tour of Australia, 2020, which is scheduled to be held in Perth.
This one-off test of Australia vs Afghanistan is timed at 08:00 IST or 10:30 local.
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