Cricket

By Abdullah Qazi / February 1, 2010
Last updated: September 27, 2018

General Information | Afghan Cricket History | Major Stadiums | Related Links

GENERAL INFORMATION

Considering the instability in Afghanistan, lack of resources, and little financial backing (compared to advanced cricketing countries like India), Afghanistan’s national cricket team has impressed the world with how well they have played and how far they have come. Founded in 1995 in Pakistan under the name Afghanistan Cricket Federation, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is the official governing body of the sport of cricket in Afghanistan. It’s current headquarters is in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Chairman of the ACB is appointed by the president of the country. Afghanistan is a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

  • Current captain: Asghar Stanikzai
  • Current coach: Phil Simmons
  • Current Chairman of ACB: Azizullah Fazli
  • Patron-in-Chief: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
Logo of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB)

Top players: Rashid Khan, Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Shahzad, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ihsanullah Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Shahpoor Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Dawlat Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Hamid Hassan (injured), and Nawroz Mangal (retired).


HISTORY OF CRICKET IN AFGHANISTAN

2018

  • Azizullah Fazli replaced Atif Mashal as Chairman of the ACB in September.
  • August 29: Afghanistan’s national cricket team played their 100th ODI (One Day International). The match was against Ireland. Mohammad Nabi became the first Afghan player to play in 100 ODI matches
  • June 25: Afghanistan played its first Test cricket match against India in Bangalore. Unfortunately, India won the match.
  • June 23: Sports network ESPN picked cricketer Rashid Khan for its All-Time T20 International Cricket XI
  • February 27: Rashid Khan (19 years 159 days) broke the record for the youngest team captain in men’s international cricket history.
  • February 20: Rashid Khan became the youngest player to top the ICC Player Rankings for bowlers in ODIs.
  • January 18: The ICC gave Rashid Khan the 2017 Associate Cricketer of the Year award.

2017

  • June 22: Afghanistan became a fully-fledged member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), taking the ICC’s total membership to 12 countries.

2015

  • December 27: The ICC (International Cricket Council) announced that Afghanistan’s national team had moved up two places to become number 10 in the world rankings.
  • December 18: Atif Mashal appointed as the Chairman of the ACB.
  • December 10: Great Noida Cricket Stadium in India was announced as Afghanistan’s home ground.
  • February 26: Afghanistan defeated Scotland by 1 wicket to win their first-ever World Cup match.
  • February 22: In a match against Sri Lanka, Hamid Hassan became the 1st Afghan bowler to take 50 ODI wickets and 7th-quickest in the world to take 50 ODI wickets.
  • February 18: Afghanistan made their debut in the Cricket World Cup.

2014

  • Afghanistan national women’s cricket team was disbanded.

2013

  • May 11: Afghanistan’s Under 19 cricket team defeated the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the final by 10 wickets to win the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Elite 2013 cricket tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • April 3: Afghanistan’s national team defeated host country Nepal in the final match of the 2013 ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Twenty20 Cup by 7 wickets to win the tournament for the fourth time.
  • Afghanistan became an Associate member of the International Cricket Council.

2012

  • National team played first match against a Full Member team (Pakistan); unfortunately, they lost.

2011

  • December 11: National team: Afghanistan’s defeated Hong Kong to win the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Twenty20 Cup, and Afghanistan finished in second place at the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Cup.

2010

  • National team: Defeated Scotland by 7 wickets in the 3-day International Cricket Council (ICC) Intercontinental Cup match to win the trophy (December 4th).
  • Afghanistan national women’s cricket team was formed (November 11th)
  • November 26: Received the silver medal in the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
  • March: Construction started on Afghanistan’s first-ever cricket stadium in the Ghazi Amanullah Khan Township, located 15 kilometers east of Jalalabad city.
  • National team: ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier (February 13th)
  • National team: Played first Twenty20 International (against Ireland).

2009

  • National team: Winners of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Twenty20 Cup 2009 (November 30th)
  • The national team participated in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup Qualifier.  Finished 5th in the Super Eight, beat former World Cup player Scotland twice.
  • April 19th: Afghanistan played its first ever One Day International (against Scotland).
  • Afghanistan’s national cricket team achieved One-Day International  (ODI) status (April 17th)
  • The national team won the Pepsi International Cricket Council World Cricket League Division 3

2008

  • The Under 17 team won the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) U-17 Challenge Cup
  • The national team won the Pepsi International Cricket Council World Cricket League Division 4
  • The national team came in third in the Asian Cricket Council Trophy Elite
  • National team won the International Cricket Council World Cricket League Division 5

2007

  • The national team won (joint winners) the Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Cup
  • Under 19 team became finalists in the Asian Cricket Council U-19 Elite Cup

2006

  • Afghanistan’s national cricket team came third place in the Asian Cricket Council Trophy
  • In the tour of England – Afghanistan’s national cricket team won six out of seven matches, defeating Leicestershire 2nd XI, Essex 2nd XI, Glamorgan 2nd XI, Hoddesdon, Ditchling and the Royal Military Academy
  • The national team Defeated Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in Mumbai
  • The national team became finalists in the Middle East Cup

2005

  • Afghanistan’s national cricket team became a finalist in the Asian Cricket Council U-15 Cup.

2001

  • After the removal of the Taliban from power, talented Afghan refugee players who had been playing cricket in Pakistan return to Afghanistan, and a national team is formed in Afghanistan. Taj Malik became the national team’s first coach.
  • Afghanistan became an Affiliate member of the International Cricket Council.

1990s – 2000

  • 1996 – 2001: During Taliban rule over most of Afghanistan, cricket is one of the few sports allowed by the Taliban.
  • Many of the top Afghan cricketers (like Mohammad Shahzad) honed their skills during this time in Pakistan.
  • 1995: Afghanistan Cricket Federation (later renamed to Afghanistan Cricket Board) was formed in Pakistan by Afghan refugees (under the leadership of Taj Malik and Allahdaad Noori).
  • The sport became popular among Afghan refugees living in Pakistan.

1839

  • The sport of cricket was first introduced to Afghanistan by the British.

MAJOR STADIUMS

  • Nangarhar Province
    • Ghazi Amanullah International Cricket Stadium – It is located in a suburb of Jalalabad, called Ghazi Amanullah Khan Town.  This is Afghanistan’s first-ever cricket stadium, and has the capacity for 14,000 spectators. The domestic team Spin Ghar Tigers are the official tenants, and use it as their home ground.
    • Sherzai Cricket Stadium (Jalalabad)
  • Kandahar Province
    • Kandahar International Cricket Stadium –  It is located in a new suburb of Kandahar,  Aino Meyna. The stadium was opened on April 2, 2018, and it has the capacity for 14,000 spectators. It is the home ground for the domestic team Boost Defenders.
  • Kabul Province
    • Alokozay Kabul International Cricket Ground – It is located in east Kabul (District 8), close to Ghazi Stadium, and was opened on December 18, 2011.  It has the capacity for 6,000 spectators.  It is the home ground for the domestic team Kabul Eagles. The stadium was originally just called the Kabul National Cricket Stadium, until in May 2015, the Alokozay Group of companies took sponsorship of the stadium.
  • Balkh Province
    • Balkh Cricket Stadium – It is located in Mazar-e Sharif and still under construction. Construction had started on June 19, 2018. Once completed, it will be the home ground for the domestic team Amo Sharks.
  • Khost Province
    • Khost Cricket Stadium – It is located in Khost City, and has the capacity for 6,000 spectators.  It was officially opened on December 30, 2016, and more than 50,000 people showed up for the inauguration ceremony.  It is the home ground for the domestic team Mis Ainak Knights.
  • Kunduz Province
    • Kunduz Cricket Stadium – It is located in northern Kunduz province, and still under construction. Construction had started on January 10, 2018.

Note: Due to the security situation in the country, and the standards required by the international cricketing bodies, the national team does not play their home games in Afghanistan. Instead, they usually use the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


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