Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

The Final Afghan Round

with one comment

Afghanistan missed one shot at qualification for the Twenty20 World Cup today as they lost to the Dutch but have another tomorrow against the U.A.E. I know who I’ll be cheering for. 

From a purely sporting perspective the rise of the Afghan cricketers has been vertiginously romantic, having languished around Division 5 of the World Cricket League as recently as 2008. To add some history the game was banned by the Taliban, steeped as it was in the British colonial tradition. But while other sports remained contraband, cricket was re-instated by the regime in 2000. It is cricket after all. Maybe the Taliban elders had seen some footage of Alan Mullally.

So of course the exploits of the Afghan cricketers are set against the political backcloth. I won’t even begin to attempt to assess the impact that the team could have on this riven nation. I only read the back pages. Of the free papers they hand outside the tube.

But I don’t think that the heroics of 11 young men in blue pyjamas can melt away centuries of tribal strife. Or if they were to qualify and draw England in the Caribbean that for that one day the Taliban insurgency would pop their heads out of their caves, sweep away a rectangle among the minefields, and bowl leg-spinning grenades at the English troops.

But it’s nice to have a little good news coming from the region. It makes a change from the coffins.


Written by harrisharrison

February 12, 2010 at 9:03 pm

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