Population: 32,006,788 (2014 est.)
Population Aged 0-14: 42%
National Coach: Andy Moles
National Captain: Asghar Stanikzai
Cricket clubs: 700
Grounds: 88
Turf wickets: 64
Women’s Cricket: Yes
Playing season: Kabul (May to September), Jalalabad / Kandahar/ Khost (September to April)

ACC Member since 2003
ACC Development Officer: Iqbal Sikander

Shahpoor Zadran celebrates a last-wicket victory at the 2015 World Cup

Recent Achievements:

2011 Winners, ACC U-19 Elite Cup
2011 Ninth in inaugural Reliance ICC T20I Rankings
2011 Winners, ACC Twenty20 Cup
2012 ODI v Pakistan at Sharjah
2012 Winners, ACC U-16 Challenge
2012 Finalists, ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier
2012 Semi-finalists, ACC U-19 Asia Cup
2012 ODI v Australia at Sharjah
2012 ICC World Twenty20
2013 MoU with Pakistan Cricket Board
2013 Winners, ACC Twenty20 Cup
2013 Winners, ACC U-19 Elite
2013 Awarded ICC Associate status
2013 ACC Emerging Teams Cup
2013 Qualifiers for World Cup 2015
2013 Qualifiers for World Twenty20 2014
2013 Finalists, ICC Intercontinental Cup
2013 Winners, ICC Global Development Awards for Best Overall Development and Junior Participation
2014 Arise Asia Cup
2014 ICC World Twenty20
2014 Winners, ACC Premier League
2014 Men’s Silver Medallists, Incheon Asian Games
2014 Winners, ACC U-16 Elite
2014 Winners, ACC U-19 Premier

Twelfth in ICC ODI Rankings, Twelfth in ICC T20I Rankings

Active personnel qualified from ACC Courses:

Coaches: Level I and II – 44, Level III - 1
Umpires: Level I and II – 43
Curators: Module I – 2

Recent years have been good for Afghanistan ICC World Cup 2015 Qualifiers, ICC WorldTwenty20 qualifiers three consecutive times, ACC Premier League champions, ACC Twenty20 Cup champions every time they played, age group champions at every level, ranked above Test-nations in the U-19 World Cup, ICC Intercontinental Cup champions, twice Asian Games silver medallists, Asia Cup contestants and ODI nation: All these achievements, coupled with sound and widespread domestic cricket development along with terrific administration led to Afghanistan being awarded ICC Associate status in 2013. Already with a global following, they play with dash and panache, care only for winning and consider every match played to be a matter of national honour. All this from a difficult and troubled start at the beginning of this century.

2014 was arguably the best year for Afghanistan with three ACC tournament victories sandwiching the Arise Asia Cup where they pushed Pakistan hard, troubled Sri Lanka, impressed all with their bowling and beat Bangladesh, and then the Asian Games where they won silver for the second time, this time to Sri Lanka.

Never a part of the British Empire, it was only in the camps established during the Afghan Wars of Liberation against invading Russia, in the North West Frontier Province region of Pakistan from 1979 onwards, that cricket first became popular amongst the displaced Afghans. Afghanistan’s cricket from their appearance in the 2004 ACC Trophy, has seen them progress from being a disorganised rag-tag band of nomadic hitters into a well-balanced team that has impressed mightily on the world stage and won the respect and affection of millions.

With the highest proportion of school-age children in the world, one in five, and 50% of the country below the age of 18, there is huge potential for cricket to play a huge part in establishing sport as a social force in Afghanistan. Indeed, junior playing numbers have increased substantially in the country since 2009 and the game is being taken to outlying provinces where they are setting an inspirational example to their neighbours as well. Cricket has become part of the national sports curriculum at schools, a fact that was recognised by Afghanistan winning the ICC Development Award for 2013.

A National Academy has been built in Kabul to secure the development of the next generation – with an Australian coach, teams are being picked on merit and the players are left to do what they do best – play cricket. The players themselves are in demand to play in the domestic leagues of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the UAE. There are two stadiums of a very high standard in the country with numerous other facilities springing up.

In February 2010 Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the Middle East was given to Afghanistan for use as their ‘home ground’ for training and matches by Abdulrahman Bukhatir, founder of cricket in Sharjah and a prime mover behind Dubai Sports City. This is where they continue to play the bulk of their first-class and ODI cricket. The Pakistan Cricket Board has also been providing them with coaching and training facilities under a renewed MoU signed in 2013.

Winners, ACC Premier League 2014 Winners, ACC U-19 Premier 2014 Winners, ACC U-16 Elite 2014

Related Articles:
India Grants A Million To Afghanistan
Afghanistan: Australian Coach For New Academy
ICC TAPP Flows For Afghanistan
Afghanistan Advancing on the Coaching Front
Afghanistan's Development Towards Associate Status
Afghanistan TAPP ICC Funding
Afghanistan Grounded in Reality
Afghanistan's Cricket Compulsion
Afghans Back Themselves To Go Forward
Afghanistan's Ambitions
Afghanistan’s Pioneer Women
Afghanistan: A Home at Home
The A Team v Pakistan A
Afghans Move Forward
Afghanistan Trialling U-19s

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