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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 AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
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Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.