Did you know?
The game of cricket was reportedly first played in Afghanistan around the 19th century Anglo-Afghan wars. In 1839, the sepoys played against the British cantonment.
The love for cricket!
???? cricket now most popular game in Afghanistan. The cricket lovers is watching all the actions on their smartphones. pic.twitter.com/MddL0UegnN
— KARIM SADIQ (@karimkhansadiq) June 5, 2018
I congratulate the people of Afghanistan as their cricket team plays their first international test match. Glad that they have chosen to play the historic match with India. Best wishes to both teams! May sports continue to bring our people closer and strengthen ties.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 14, 2018
Over the last four decades, Afghanistan have been caged in what seems like a never-ending cycle of civil wars and conflicts. Carnage and mayhem seem to be part and parcel of life, as streets are littered with fire-gutted buildings and shops. Amidst all the chaos and tragedy, a game played with leather and willow flourished, and after paddling through numerous hardships, Afghanistan are set to play in the Elite Division of Test cricket – as a Full Member – versus the number one ranked side India – in Bengaluru, on June 14.
It is hard to find adjectives to describe the rise of Afghanistan in the cricketing landscape. From the humble beginnings of Afghanistan refugees taking part in tape-ball cricket matches in Peshawar in the 1990s, setting up the Afghanistan Cricket Board in 1995 to triumphs in Division Five and Division Three tournaments of WCL, qualifying for World T20 in 2010, playing its first ODI in 2012, participating in the 2015 World Cup and now Test status – the journey has certainly been a wonderful one.
It is a momentous occasion for Asghar Stanikzai and co. The likes of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Shahzad, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi would be looking to prove their worth in the theatre of Test cricket. It is going to a massive task for them as they are up against a side who hardly lose on their own turf – India. Even with Virat Kohli missing out of action due to injury, they still have a very formidable line-up in home conditions. India also have some interesting selection headaches. There is a chance of all three openers – Vijay, Dhawan and Rahul – playing for the home side. With Kuldeep Yadav in the wings and waiting for his chance, the experienced spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja would be under some pressure to perform.
The weather in Bangalore has been mostly cool, with spells of rain and that adds more intrigue to the Test.
We will bring you all the updates from the historic Test match. You can also share your views via the Twitter handle – @fancricket12
Here’s something on the magic and guile of Rashid Khan.
You can also go through our preview – as we wait for the highly-anticipated Test to commence.
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