Afghanistan cricket October 4, 2013

Afghanistan's road to World Cup 2015

ESPNcricinfo staff
A look at some of the milestones in Afghanistan's remarkable journey from being nowhere on the cricket map to securing a place in World Cup 2015
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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.

November 2007: Afghanistan win their first tournament, the ACC Twenty20 Cup - the final against Oman ends in a tie and the teams share the trophy. They go on to win the title in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 4, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    It is heartening to see these young Afgans are doing their best in the cricket field amid the total chaos prevailing back in their home land. Pretty inspiring. Way to go guys. Show what you can do during the world cup. As a Lankan and as an Asian, I wish you all the very best.

  • on October 4, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    I think both Ireland and Afghanistan should automatically be in World Cups! Both need ICC and support of cricket's major countries to become major cricketing powers.

  • on October 4, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    That was just a perfect setup, to get in to the world cup 2015. Rest of the world watch out for the brave nation, which will make history in 2015. We are coming Australia!!!!!!!

  • on October 4, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    zindabad afghanistan , afghan team deserve to be in world cup , i hope they will make one or 2 top teams upset , these guys r talentful, but they need help from cricket world , they need more international games against top teams

  • Fan_of_test_cricket on October 4, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    Afghanistan and Ireland are a breath of fresh air in the cricket world. Great to see new cricketing nations taking active interest.

    Hard to believe after today's performance that Kenya had reached the WC semi finals in 2003.

  • on October 4, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    Inspiring journey.All the best for WC'15.Love from India!

  • akhilesh0109 on October 4, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    I'm an Indian and I've been following Afghanistan cricket team since 2009 when they lost out on qualification by one win. Glad to see that they have gone one step further this time around. Also happy to see 5 Asian countries (minimum, hopefully UAE come through as well) in the world cup. Sincerely want to see Afghanistan team being given proper exposure by arranging matches against the full members. Asia cup would not be a bad way to start with.. Hopefully the ACC keeps Afghanistan in mind while planning the Asia cup. Congrats Afghanistan.. See you at the world cup..

  • amk23 on October 4, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    Come on Afghanistan !! Give some hard time to big guys !!!! Some surprises win !! It has to happen !!! Otherwise big countries will never show interest in playing more with associate countries !!!

  • on October 4, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Congrats to all Afghans!!! Fantastic Journey...

  • on October 4, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Great. Hope to see them playing up to level of big guys in years to come. Exciting times for the game of cricket. And i request the BCCI to support countries like these(financially as well as technically ) who have a real passion for cricket which might turn out to be real good for BCCI as well as the whole cricketing community in the near future. Bored of watching the same 6 guys(playing real hard test cricket) playing each other again and again for decades now. Cricket as a game shouldn't miss opportunities like these to spread itself around the globe.

  • on October 4, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    It is heartening to see these young Afgans are doing their best in the cricket field amid the total chaos prevailing back in their home land. Pretty inspiring. Way to go guys. Show what you can do during the world cup. As a Lankan and as an Asian, I wish you all the very best.

  • on October 4, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    I think both Ireland and Afghanistan should automatically be in World Cups! Both need ICC and support of cricket's major countries to become major cricketing powers.

  • on October 4, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    That was just a perfect setup, to get in to the world cup 2015. Rest of the world watch out for the brave nation, which will make history in 2015. We are coming Australia!!!!!!!

  • on October 4, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    zindabad afghanistan , afghan team deserve to be in world cup , i hope they will make one or 2 top teams upset , these guys r talentful, but they need help from cricket world , they need more international games against top teams

  • Fan_of_test_cricket on October 4, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    Afghanistan and Ireland are a breath of fresh air in the cricket world. Great to see new cricketing nations taking active interest.

    Hard to believe after today's performance that Kenya had reached the WC semi finals in 2003.

  • on October 4, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    Inspiring journey.All the best for WC'15.Love from India!

  • akhilesh0109 on October 4, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    I'm an Indian and I've been following Afghanistan cricket team since 2009 when they lost out on qualification by one win. Glad to see that they have gone one step further this time around. Also happy to see 5 Asian countries (minimum, hopefully UAE come through as well) in the world cup. Sincerely want to see Afghanistan team being given proper exposure by arranging matches against the full members. Asia cup would not be a bad way to start with.. Hopefully the ACC keeps Afghanistan in mind while planning the Asia cup. Congrats Afghanistan.. See you at the world cup..

  • amk23 on October 4, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    Come on Afghanistan !! Give some hard time to big guys !!!! Some surprises win !! It has to happen !!! Otherwise big countries will never show interest in playing more with associate countries !!!

  • on October 4, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Congrats to all Afghans!!! Fantastic Journey...

  • on October 4, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Great. Hope to see them playing up to level of big guys in years to come. Exciting times for the game of cricket. And i request the BCCI to support countries like these(financially as well as technically ) who have a real passion for cricket which might turn out to be real good for BCCI as well as the whole cricketing community in the near future. Bored of watching the same 6 guys(playing real hard test cricket) playing each other again and again for decades now. Cricket as a game shouldn't miss opportunities like these to spread itself around the globe.

  • on October 4, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    It has been a fantastic journey by them. It has been amazing watching them rise through the ranks of the ICC and the cricket playing nations. Exciting to watch, always a thrill for the crowd and they're always so enthusiastic about their cricket. Hopefully they can keep on rising and soon we will be able to watch international matches in Afghanistan itself.

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  • on October 4, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    It has been a fantastic journey by them. It has been amazing watching them rise through the ranks of the ICC and the cricket playing nations. Exciting to watch, always a thrill for the crowd and they're always so enthusiastic about their cricket. Hopefully they can keep on rising and soon we will be able to watch international matches in Afghanistan itself.

  • on October 4, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Great. Hope to see them playing up to level of big guys in years to come. Exciting times for the game of cricket. And i request the BCCI to support countries like these(financially as well as technically ) who have a real passion for cricket which might turn out to be real good for BCCI as well as the whole cricketing community in the near future. Bored of watching the same 6 guys(playing real hard test cricket) playing each other again and again for decades now. Cricket as a game shouldn't miss opportunities like these to spread itself around the globe.

  • on October 4, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Congrats to all Afghans!!! Fantastic Journey...

  • amk23 on October 4, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    Come on Afghanistan !! Give some hard time to big guys !!!! Some surprises win !! It has to happen !!! Otherwise big countries will never show interest in playing more with associate countries !!!

  • akhilesh0109 on October 4, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    I'm an Indian and I've been following Afghanistan cricket team since 2009 when they lost out on qualification by one win. Glad to see that they have gone one step further this time around. Also happy to see 5 Asian countries (minimum, hopefully UAE come through as well) in the world cup. Sincerely want to see Afghanistan team being given proper exposure by arranging matches against the full members. Asia cup would not be a bad way to start with.. Hopefully the ACC keeps Afghanistan in mind while planning the Asia cup. Congrats Afghanistan.. See you at the world cup..

  • on October 4, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    Inspiring journey.All the best for WC'15.Love from India!

  • Fan_of_test_cricket on October 4, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    Afghanistan and Ireland are a breath of fresh air in the cricket world. Great to see new cricketing nations taking active interest.

    Hard to believe after today's performance that Kenya had reached the WC semi finals in 2003.

  • on October 4, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    zindabad afghanistan , afghan team deserve to be in world cup , i hope they will make one or 2 top teams upset , these guys r talentful, but they need help from cricket world , they need more international games against top teams

  • on October 4, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    That was just a perfect setup, to get in to the world cup 2015. Rest of the world watch out for the brave nation, which will make history in 2015. We are coming Australia!!!!!!!

  • on October 4, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    I think both Ireland and Afghanistan should automatically be in World Cups! Both need ICC and support of cricket's major countries to become major cricketing powers.