Home > Cricket Development > Any eligibility question for Afghanistan?

Any eligibility question for Afghanistan?

I recently read this article on CricketEurope. It seems that someone has some confusion on what and who should be allowed to play for Afghanistan, and whether all Pakhtuns living in Pakistan should be eligible for the Afghanistan cricket team.

This is preposterous, and also, there is really no confusion anywhere. National cricket teams are just that, national. People eligbile to play for Afghanistan are those living INSIDE the UN recognized boundaries of the country Afghanistan, or those who are living elsewhere, but are eligable for an Afghan passport and ID card. Some pakhtun living in Pakistan cannot just go an play in Afghanistan cricket team because in 1947 Afgahnistan refused to agree to the Durand line. Pakistan seems to agree to it fine. Also, when push comes to shove, both Pakistan and Afghanistan pretty much agree on the border when chasing terrorists. That explains why they are always fighting with each other on whose mistake it is when someone gets away.

Punjab is divided between India and Pakistan. Indian Punjab is further divided into multiple states now. Mohajir population in Pakistan, particulaly in Karachi, are immigrants from UP state in India from 1947. Just based on these ethnic ties, people cannot qualify to play to other countries, unless the ethnicity also somehow gives the nationality to the person.

If any Pakhtun in Pakistan can go and get a passport from Afgahnistan, and also vote there, then perhaps it would be a complex issue. But its not. So lets not make it complex.

Huge number of Afghans lived in Pakistan, they still live there. Since they are Afghans (if they want, they can get Afghan citizenship and live there), they would be eligable to play for Afghanistan, but only after they have fulfilled the other ICC requirements (either live there for 4 years or get Afghan passport). However, just any Pakhtun living in Pakistan cannot just go and get selected in Afghanistan cricket team.

Regarding the playing numbers. I would think the playing numbers of 18K are closer to reality than 495. Sometime ago, it also showed up that Nepal’s playing numbers were 200 ! The numbers collected for the ICC report are about officially registered cricketers in official clubs that do book keeping etc. In the subcontinent, many times that doesnt happen. 4 million afghans lived in Pakistan for more than 20 years. What game do you think they played there all the time?

Categories: Cricket Development
  1. December 28, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Just for some context, the following are some Pakhtuns in the current Pakistan cricket team. Should they be eligible for Afghanistan just because of ethnicity?

    Shahid Afridi
    Younis Khan
    Umar Gul
    Yasir Hameed
    Wajahatullah Wasti

  2. Art
    December 30, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Broadly Afghanistan is now a real force in world cricket. Obviously someone will query something. Sad state of affairs.

  3. January 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Afghanistan has enough playing numbers and enough talent themselves, without even getting into the eligibilty question.

  4. rego
    January 10, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Fair call.

  5. May 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm


    I dont think so. Keep the Pakis away from Afghan cricket. At least overrated and good for nothing guys like Afridi should be miles away from Afghan cricket. From what I saw today their batsmen are lot better than Afridi in terms of technique as well as talent. Let them develop their own team and I am quite sure they will do so helped by other countries including India.

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