For only the second time in history, Afghanistan has managed to qualify for the Twenty20 world cup. The feat is one of the greatest achievements in Afghanistan’s sporting history with the wore torn nation not being known for its sporting prowess.
While the team has virtually no chance of success at the actual tournament, their even being there is a huge boost for both Afghan cricket and sport in general.
The team won the right to compete in the world cup after defeating Namibia by 44 four runs last month. The tournament they were competing in was a qualification tournament for third tier cricket nations who don’t play test cricket. Earlier in the tournament the Afghan team was also able to defeat the Netherlands who were considered the favorites coming into the tournament.
The actual tournament will be played in September in Sri-lanka with all of the world’s leading cricketing nations taking part. While an upset from a second of third tier nation is unlikely, the random nature of International t20’s means anything is possible. If you were having a bet on cricket then we’d suggest you back England rather than Afghanistan, but you never know!
The captain of the Afghan cricket team, Captain Nawroz Mangal said the team was ready to take on the world’s best. He described he said the win meant a “big day for the entire nation” and that his team wanted to succeed for his nation’s people.
The appearance in Sri-lanka will not the first appearance of Afghanistan in a major tournament. They previously played in the T20 world cup in the West-indies where they failed to win a game.
The Afghan team faces numerous challengers due to the fact that their nation is at the heart of the war on terror. Due to instability they are unable to train or play within Afghanistan and are forced to play all their matches at neutral venues.