A FAIRY TALE RISE
The rise—and rise--of Afghanistan cricket through the ranks, from the lower levels to the highest one, has been a phenomenal ...
Promotion to Associate membership (2013)
In 2013, Afghanistan was promoted from Affiliate to Associate member by the ICC. After narrowly missing out on an ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 berth, history was not going to repeat itself. A clinical Afghanistan unit, led by Mohammad Nabi, beat Kenya by seven wickets to finish second in the ICC World Cricket League Championship in Sharjah. The victory meant Afghanistan would travel to the biggest event in world cricket—the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
They lost five matches in the group stage, but on 26 February 2015, Afghanistan created history when they recorded their first-ever win in a World Cup match, defeating Scotland by one wicket.
On 22 June 2017, Afghanistan were awarded Full Member status by the ICC along with Ireland. Soon, their maiden Test was slotted against India, to start on 14 June 2018 in Bengaluru. Like with most new teams, there was the question of the immediate future once they had reached prominence. But in Afghanistan’s case, the next generation seems ready. They first qualified for the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2010 and their best result came at the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2018 where they reached the semi-finals before losing to Australia. In 2017, the colts also won the Under-19 Asia Cup by beating Pakistan in the final by a huge 185 runs.
In the current Test squad, spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman (17), Zahir Khan (19) and Wafadar Momand (19) are all still teenagers, while world-class leg-spinner Rashid Khan and batsman Ihsanullah are both 20.