Afghanistan's road to World Cup 2015
Five years ago, Afghanistan were in Division Five of the World Cricket League, at that time the lowest division of the ICC's global 50-over tournament. In May 2008, they beat Jersey to win Division Five. Within two years, they had secured a place in the World Twenty20 and in five years, had qualified for the 2015 World Cup. A look at some of the milestones in their remarkable journey.
2001: The Afghanistan Cricket Federation is set up by Afghan expats living in Pakistan, and the country is recognised as an Affiliate Member of the ICC. The team embarks on its first tour, travelling to Pakistan as the US-led war in Afghanistan begins. The side lose three games and draws two matches on the tour.
June 2004: Afghanistan participate in the Asian Cricket Council Elite Cup and win a match against Bahrain.
May 2008: Afghanistan win Division Five of the World Cricket League, embarking on a campaign to qualify for the 2011 World Cup.
January 2009: Afghanistan win WCL Division Three in Buenos Aires on the basis of net run rate to progress to the 2009 World Cup qualifier, the final qualifying tournament for the 2011 World Cup. The side finishes sixth in the qualifier, failing to make it to the World Cup, but the result ensures they are granted ODI status for the first time.
February 2010: Afghanistan beat Ireland in the final of the World T20 qualifier to win a place in the World T20 in the West Indies. Expectedly, they fail to progress beyond the league stage of the World T20.
December 2010: In 2009, Afghanistan participated in their first Intercontinental Cup, a first-class tournament organised by the ICC. In December 2010, they beat Scotland by seven wickets to win the title.
March 2012: Finish runners-up in the World T20 qualifiers, losing to Ireland. They play the World T20 in Sri Lanka in Group A, along with India and England, and have their moments but fail to progress beyond the league stage.
June 2013: Afghanistan are recognised as an Associate member of the ICC.
October 2013: Afghanistan beat Kenya to finish second in the WCL Championship and qualify for the 2015 World Cup, becoming the 20th team to gain entry into the tournament overall.