Afghanistan June 5, 2006

Bats replace guns in Afghanistan

An Afghanistan side is preparing for a seven-match tour of the UK which starts on June 11 and takes in several county 2nd XIs

An Afghanistan side is preparing for a seven-match tour of the UK which starts on June 11 and takes in several county 2nd XIs. Taj Malik, the coach, was keen to point out that the trip was about more than PR.

"The Afghanistan team will not be a joke. Our players have completed a 15-day training camp. They are ready to compete. All the Afghans in London are very keen and are waiting for the team."

The Afghanistan Cricket Foundation was only set up in 1995 in part as an effort to persuade young men involved in the civil war raging at the time to "pick up the ball and put down the gun," said one of the founders, Allah Dad Noori.

"When I saw the situation of my country, all the suffering, I thought, 'What can I do?'. At first they were not interested in the game but slowly, slowly you catch the monkey. I have seen people leave fighting and come and play cricket."

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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  • AFGHANISTAN UNBEATABLE on November 17, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    I KNOW AFGHANISTAN WILL PLACE ON TOP ONE DAY BUT I HOPE THAT DAYS COMES BEFORE I DIE... I AM A CRICKET PLAYER WHO JUST WANTS TO PLAY NO INTEREST IN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL CRICKET BUT THIS IS ONE OF MY HEARTS SOUND THAT I CAN SEE AFGHANISTAN LIVE ON MY TV PLAYING WITH INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS. I HOPE IT HAPPENS SOON. ALLAH IS THE GREAT

  • AFGHANISTAN UNBEATABLE on November 17, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    I KNOW AFGHANISTAN WILL PLACE ON TOP ONE DAY BUT I HOPE THAT DAYS COMES BEFORE I DIE... I AM A CRICKET PLAYER WHO JUST WANTS TO PLAY NO INTEREST IN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL CRICKET BUT THIS IS ONE OF MY HEARTS SOUND THAT I CAN SEE AFGHANISTAN LIVE ON MY TV PLAYING WITH INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS. I HOPE IT HAPPENS SOON. ALLAH IS THE GREAT

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  • AFGHANISTAN UNBEATABLE on November 17, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    I KNOW AFGHANISTAN WILL PLACE ON TOP ONE DAY BUT I HOPE THAT DAYS COMES BEFORE I DIE... I AM A CRICKET PLAYER WHO JUST WANTS TO PLAY NO INTEREST IN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL CRICKET BUT THIS IS ONE OF MY HEARTS SOUND THAT I CAN SEE AFGHANISTAN LIVE ON MY TV PLAYING WITH INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS. I HOPE IT HAPPENS SOON. ALLAH IS THE GREAT