Home > Afghanistan > News: Afghanistan thrash Ditchlings CC and win tour 6-1

News: Afghanistan thrash Ditchlings CC and win tour 6-1

This was a very impressive tour by Afghanistan. I think that they considered Ditchlings CC to be a very weak opposition, hence they may have rested their best players in the process, but still managed to beat them by 95 runs in a 40 over game.

Their best performances were against the county 2nd XIs, to which the likes of Bermuda lose easily. Leicestershire and Essex 2nd XIs were not weak teams, especially Essex who even had Grant Flower playing in that team, with 8 of their players having first class experience.

What these performances should technically do is to get 1-2 of the Afghan players county contracts. And the process should start from there. But Afghanistan is overall a war torn country, and they lack basic infrastructure, so there will be no countries in the neat future which are going ot undertake a tour to Kabul to play them. As far as invitations are concerned, well, I think it will stay at the level of this tour, perhaps next time the counties would want to play them with first XI teams to warm up.

There are 2 things that should happen from here. Afghanistan should get invitations from the associate countries to play them. For example, it would have been better if Kenya would have invited them over to Nairobi to play against Kenya A, instead of sending Kenya A to Denmark to play club sides. It would have been much much cheaper as well, plus I think Afghanistan would be better opposition than Danish clubs to raise the standard of the Kenyan A team. But because ICCs funding is based on the standing of the team, teams like Bermuda may not want to play Afghanistan, lest they get beaten and invite more criciticism.

The second thing is that Pakistan should step up and hire the Afghan team, 16 players, as a domestic team. Realistically thats the only way I see Afghanistan moving forward. PCB can do this as a means to developing the game and helping out a cricketing neighbour, and who whos, the Afghans may start giving a run for the money to the Pakistan domestic teams.

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Categories: Afghanistan
  1. Ram
    June 23, 2006 at 12:42 pm

    Great way to end the tour for Afghanistan! Nasir, Am I right that the Afghan team played in tier 2 of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy about a year or couple of years ago?..Infact, I thought I read somewhere that they were among the mid rung sides in tier 2 and that they did manage to register a couple of wins..

    I do think the PCB has to step in and support Afghanistan both on the field and off it financially because the major hurdle to the development of Afghanistan cricket is the lack of infrastructure…Infact, the ACF has been allotted land in Kabul by the Afghan government for the construction of a cricket stadium but lack of funds and support from countries like India/Pakistan at the ICC/ACC levels has hampered the project..Will the ICC or ACC step up and take notice of Afghanistan is the million-dollar question..

  2. Cuen Lucas
    June 23, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    Well they might take notice after this tour Ram, a 6 – 1 final tally is impressive to say the least.

  3. June 23, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    Ram, I think they played grade III or IV of Quaid e Azam Trophy 3-4 years back. Grade III means they were playing 3rd XI teams or weaker distrcit associations. And no, I think they were at the bottom of the pool there, not mid rung.

    But this current team is very good. That was not a very good side that played in QEA Grade III. 2-3 of the current side should get picked up by English counties, at least for second XI stints. We will also be able to see 2 of their players against Netherlands in a few days, becuase they are in MCC.

    But as I said, unless Afghanistan does a full tour of England, playing 4-5 full counties, they may not be able to get the attention they need.

  4. June 23, 2006 at 7:36 pm

    A really good result by Afganistan.

    Regards the Kenya A tour to Denmark:
    The main focus of the tour is the matches vs. Denmark. The club games are a warm up to this. Afganistan may have just played well but Denmark were ranked much higher when the tour was organised. After Denmark’s efforts against The Netherlands A, the 2 matches against the national side will probably be fairly hard fought.

    It is also a matter of money. Kenya A are being sponsored by a Dane who regularly brings his team tourning to Mombasa. Without him, the tour would almost certainly not go ahead.
    Similarly, the Afganistan tour was hardly likely to be funded out of their own coffers. For Afganistan to tour Kenya (don’t get me wrong – I think it would be great), someone would have to pay for it. At the moment, neither country could afford it.

  5. Ram
    June 23, 2006 at 8:07 pm

    A summary of Afghanistan’s tour of England (excluding the last match) can be found on the Lords website: http://www.lords.org/latest-news/news-archive/afghan-cricket-federation-in-england,712,NS.html

    It’s interesting that all of Afghanistan’s matches against county 2nd XIs have been close affairs. While Nabi shined with 2 centuries, Noor Ali also got 125 against Leicestershire 2nd XI. The high scoring nature of most of those matches seem to indicate that Afghanistan are a strong batting side with relatively lesser bowling resources..it should be interesting to see how Nabi and Hassan perform for MCC on their tour of Netherlands later this month..

  6. June 23, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    Chemosit,

    I was only suggesting theoratically for the future. I thought the cost was being born by Kenya. You are right that it makes more sense to tour Denmark in this situation for Kenya A. Though, as far as what we have seen recently, Denmark would be much much stronger than Kenya A, and essentially Kenya A would only be able to win the club games.

    But lets wait and see what happens.

  7. Bensti
    June 24, 2006 at 7:22 am

    The Asian Championships will determine exactly how much Afghanistan have improved over the last couple of years.
    If they are good enough, they will progress straight through to the World League of the WCQS.
    Its a pretty exciting prospect and I think they are in with a real chance of doing it.
    Its an interesting time for cricket fans…particularly those of us who want to see the game continue to grow.

  8. Ram
    June 24, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Unconfirmed reports indicate that Kenya might get to play against SL ‘A’ later this year in Nov/Dec…If this tour does work out, it would be a great opportunity for Kenya to raise its profile amongst the Test nations ahead of the World Cup next year..

    Ideally, it would be nice if Kenya tours SL for a series of 4-day and ODI matches against the A team and if possible, a 3-ODI series against the SL national team..Hope this tour gets confirmed!..maybe, Nick you may have more info on this?..They may also look to hop over to India or Pakistan and play a few ODIs against their A teams…

  9. June 24, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    Bensti, here is the problem.

    UAE, courtesy of excellent facilties (not because of interest, but because of being filthy rich) and courtesy of Pakistani expats (yes they are recent expats, and almost all of them, at least the good ones, were in Pakistan till they tuned 18) is by far the strongest associate team in Asia. Nothing wrong with that I guess, except for the fact that exapts in UAE are not taking the game anywhere over there. The problem with the ACC system is, that Afghanistan is going to get either a quarter final with UAE, or a semi final, and they would need to win the tournament or come second with UAE/Oman winning in order to qualify for WCQS Div III. That seems unlikely to happen. Hence Afghanistan would have to wait till another 2 years beefore they can get another shot, and they may end up in the same situation then as well. There is definitely something wrong with that.

    Also, Bermuda is weaker than UAE, but Bermuda is getting all the oppurtunity. Afghanistan is probably Bermuda level, but Afghanistan cant even get money for a pitch. Additionally, Afghanistan has a million cricketers, and Bermuda is giving its current performance DESPITE ebing a cricket crazy country of 60K. In all consideration Afghanistan should be getting at least as much importance as Bermuda as far as ICCs business of cricket is concerned, but it is not.

    I keep on saying that there are countries where cricket HAS expanded to. Afghanistan, Nepal, Uganda, Scotland, Ireland, Holland are all examples of such countries. But the ICC keeps on sticking with Team USA, UAE, Canada, Bermuda which has expats playing and they keep on pushing out the emerging teams, at the same time they do not patronize their own country teams in cricket.

    I would have liked to see a system like the one that Americas region used this year for ACC qualification. But ACC, I think, also wants to keep the expat based countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar in the limelight.

    Best would be for ICC to allow only 2 deemed nationals in the team, change the definition of a deemed national to one who has resided in the country for 7 years (as opposed to current 4), and make it a point that the rest HAVE to be citizens. That will automatically allow the ‘proper’ teams to come up.

  10. June 24, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    Ram,

    My question about Ken is, who exactly in their new players, or less than 30 years old players, is showing the talent over there that needs to be honed? Most of their 'new generation' was playing in the 2 games they lost to Uganda !!!

    Kenya's true period, where they should have gotten around 200 ODIs, was between 1996-2006. They didnt capitalize, or the ICC didnt do much, or the other test teams did not support them, or their own board screwed up. Whatever happenned, I dont see the Tikolos, Odumbes, Sujis or Otienos coming through anymore. Just how many games is Tikolo going to win for them single handedly?

  11. Bensti
    June 25, 2006 at 12:29 am

    Nasir, I am on your side when it comes to expat vs development teams.
    But I have learned over the years that there are some highly dedicated ex-pats in places like Canada, Italy France and the Gulf who are truly committed to sharing the game throughout the community.
    I wouldn’t like to discriminate against them.
    On the other hand, there does seem to be many examples where the ex-pats are doing little to spread the game amongst the mainstream and in some cases it would appear that they are hindering the growth of the game quite purposely.
    How do we convince cricket playing ex-pats all over the world that their main role should be to teach the game, spread the game and hand over the spotlight to the wider community?
    I think your idea in regard to deemed nationals is a good one.

  12. June 25, 2006 at 9:42 am

    Nasir, I do not totally agree on your view of expatriates. If you remember teams like the West Indies started out with English players – they were all expatriates in the country as were the early teams from New Zealand, South Africa and even India – they were English players who spread the game in these nations.

    In many of these countries, I live in one (Oman), the Indians are spreading the game amongst the locals and local players do get encouraged by the country doing well at the international level irrespective of who is playing.

  13. Ram
    June 25, 2006 at 10:12 am

    Nasir,

    How strong do you think the current Kenyan team is given that all of Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands are now in a position to overtake them in the race to Test status? I don’t have much idea about the younger Kenyan players and how good they are relative to their Scottish, Irish or Dutch counterparts..Obviously, it isn’t the same Kenyan team that reached the semifinals of the last World Cup but neverthless I do expect them to give a reasonably tough fight to Bangladesh in the forthcoming 3 ODI series at home and subsequently in the World Cup next year against Eng and NZ..

    But, I perfectly agree with you that if Kenya were now in the same position they were in 1996, they would’ve probably acquired Test status within the next 5 years or so but then Kenyan cricket has only gone backwards since 1996 due to lack of exposure and ICC backing.

    Probably, on 2nd thought I wouldn’t mind a Kenya ‘A’ side, composed predominantly of youngsters touring SL instead of their senior team given that the senior team is mostly madeup of the older generation which doesn’t have much cricket left after the 2007 World Cup..

  14. June 25, 2006 at 3:28 pm

    Well, I think that the fact that Kenya A lost 2 times to Uganda tells you a bit. The other thing is that in the U19 World Cup, Kenya lost out to both Namibia U19 and Uganda U19, and Uganda and Namibia were the second and thrid worst teams in that WC tournament, much behind Nepal, Ireland and even USA.

    The second thing is that the ONLY players who do anything for Kenya today are those who started off in the 1996 World Cup, i.e. Odoyo, Tikolo, Modi, M Suji, M Odumbe. So its not like they are producing a lot of good cricketers. On the other hand, when I look at Netherlands team from 1996, only Zuiderant, who was 18 years old in 1996, and Tim De Leede, who is 38 years old currently, are left in the team from that time, and this Netherlands team is much stronger than the one that played in 1996. All of Kervezee, Buurman, Ten Doeschate, Van Bunge etc are new players that they have produced in the last 3-4 years, at a good average of about 1 world class player per year.

    I dont think that any of these teams is test stadard yet, because they dont even have the public backing or numbers yet. But I think that given the right experience, Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands will be much much better than Kenya in the next 2-3 years.

    It will only improve 16 year old Kervezee to get experience, but I dont know what experience will give the ever young 35 year old Tikolo at this time of his career, who is likely to retire after the 2007 WC any way.

  15. Fardin
    June 26, 2006 at 6:18 am

    hi Nasir do you know who the afghan cricket team are playing next?

  16. June 26, 2006 at 10:28 am

    No not really. I would think they are playing in the ACC Trophy next, and then will be in the wilderness after that.

  17. Ram
    June 26, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    Nasir,

    Kenya A now losing to Esberg CC, a Denmark club side confirms the fact that the standard of Kenyan cricket has indeed gone down over the last 5-6 years..Though an optimist would like to believe that the cricketing standards have really gone up in Denmark, the sad reality is that Kenya might not even be good enough to defeat Afghanistan, UAE, Namibia or Denmark after next year’s World Cup, when most of their top players would retire.

  18. June 26, 2006 at 8:47 pm

    Yes, I saw that they have lost to Esberg CC, which is absolutely pathetic, but expected. Frankly, I was surprised when they beat Aalborg. But the point is that the Kenyan officials and the ICC need to wake up and stop considering Kenya to be the next test team. They dont have anyone stepping up at all. In fact, after the retirement of the stalwarts, Kenya may even find qualifying through ICC trophy to be a big problem in 2009.

    And Ram, no. Denamrk standard, if anything, has only gone down in the last 4-5 years. No consolation there.

  19. Ram
    June 26, 2006 at 8:56 pm

    In that case, Kenya clearly don’t deserve this ODI status they have now and instead Ireland and Scotland can be given the same and Kenya asked to participate in the World Cup qualifiers….This way, the lesser teams, especially Denmark will get a better deal as they’ll now be the second best team in the European region after Holland and this could also avoid the presence of teams like Bermuda and Canada in the World Cup, who am sure would struggle to defeat Denmark atleast 9 times out of 10..

  20. June 26, 2006 at 10:20 pm

    ummm…… Kenya does not have a permanent ODI status. They will have to qualify for ODI status for another 3.5 years in 2009, just like Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands etc.

    btw, Ireland is not the second best team in Europe. Netherlands is.

  21. Ram
    June 27, 2006 at 1:33 am

    Nasir…Didn’t Kenya automatically qualify for the 2003 and 2007 events by virtue of possessing ODI status?…Going by that, I thought Kenya would be an automatic entry into subsequent World Cups much like the Test teams..If they’ve to qualify, then it’s well and good..

    About being the second best team in Europe, I thought Scotland and Ireland were the strongest given their performances in the ICC Intercontinental Cup and their performances in one-off ODIs against Test teams..Am not sure if Netherlands are that good a team capable of running the Test teams really close or even occasionally upsetting them..Either way, I guess we should get to know better about these teams by July 6th…

  22. June 27, 2006 at 2:26 am

    Ram, Kenya will be playing in the ICC World Cup qualifier in 2009, and only if they finish in the top 6 will the ICC give them, and other top 6 finishers, ODI status for the subsequent years.

    Netherlands always beats Ireland in the European Championships, and is also ranked higher according to ECC rankings. Netherlands lost in last year’s Intercontinental cup, I think because of the weather.

    This year too I think that Netherlands will beat Ireland easily in the European Championships.

  23. Azam Khan
    June 27, 2006 at 7:43 am

    Dear Nasir,

    I hope you are fine & perfect. I really appreciate your articles, etc. regarding Afghanistan cricket. As you know we had a very successful & historic tour to England & Wales and won 6 matches out of seven. Afghanistan is a poor & war torn country & the government itself is dependent on international aid &has not been able to support sports like cricket, football, etc. as there are so many other basic things e.g school, colleges, hospitals, roads and other reconstruction works,etc. which are the basic requirements of life. There is a lot of talent in the players but unfortunately all of them are facing financial problems as they are professional cricketers & do not have any other jobs or employments. They are dependent on their families who even can not support themselves. The players do not have any salary & they are a financial burden on their families which is a very difficult task. I read in one of your article that Afghanistan doesn`t have a strong bowling but we do have a very strong fast bowling attack who can bowl nearly 90 miles/hour. Fortunately two of our players have been selected by MCC & I hope they`ll show good performance in their matches & will impress MMC to extend the contract with them. I have already requested Robin Marlar who is the president of MCC as well as Sussex County Cricket Club & Other Club members if they can take (sign contract) our players for their clubs, etc. so they can support themselves as well as improving their cricketing skills. I would also like if you can please help Afghanistan Cricket Federation (ACF) by any means. Afghanistan is just one step away from international cricket, if we reach the final of ACC trophy in Quala Lumpur, Malaysia in August this year so we can play one day international with Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka & Bangladish in Asia Cup.

    Azam Khan
    Development Officer Afghanistan Cricket Federation
    My email: azamkhan_36@hotmail.com

  24. June 28, 2006 at 6:01 am

    Azam,

    If Afghanistan reaches final of ACC Trophy, it will not play in the Asia Cup in 2007 (Oman will play that), nor will it play in the Asia Cup for 2009 (Nepal will play that). It will play in the Asia Cup for 2011. And as far as Asia Cup is concerned, India feels that it is pointless, and not a good use of their time, so I doubt even the 2007 edition will go ahead.

    Regarding Afghanistan, you need to talk to Shahryar Khan of Pakistan Cricket Board to think about incorporating Afghanistan into the Pakistan domestic set up as a domestic team, and also salarying the players. I dont think it will be that big of a problem, given that Afghanistan matches played in Peshawar etc can also get some of the Afghan expats in Pakistan to show up and back the team. Plus the standard is not going to be that much behind the weakest Pakistan domestic teams like Quetta or Islamabad.

    Also try to work with Nepal to get a bilateral series going in in Nepal, and with Bangladesh to get a bilateral series going with Bangladesh A. I dont know if they would be willing to finance the tours, but it would be worth a try. After proving that Afghanistan is better than the county second XIs, there should be some benefit for the teams to play them to raise their standard a little.

  25. Ram
    June 28, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    Azam,

    As Nasir said, the PCB is in the best position to help Afghanistan out both financially and in improving their on-field performances..

    I think over the next few weeks, the TWO MOST important things for Afghanistan cricket is to get a regular fixture list going (I pefectly agree with what Nasir said regarding the opponents Afghanistan should look to play against!) for the national team for the next 2-3 years and even more importantly, look to PCB for financial help in the construction of a cricket stadium in Kabul that can host official ODIs and first-class matches..maybe organizations like MCC, Cricket Australia or NZ cricket who are committed to spreading the game can also help you in this regard..

    I also feel that with the change in regime at the helm of affairs in the ever-rich BCCI, the new regime may be more understanding of the needs of Afghan cricket and may be willing to help both financially and otherwise, given their recent initiatives to help the WI board from its financial crisis and also in establishing a corpus fund for the development of other sports in India..

    All the best in your endeavours to put Afghanistan on the cricketing map!

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