Afghanistan March 11, 2007

Afghanistan and Norway aim high

Afghanistan and Norway might be in the lower echelons of the World Cricket League (WCL), but that isn't stopping either country aiming big
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Afghanistan and Norway might be in the lower echelons of the World Cricket League (WCL), but that isn't stopping either country aiming big. They want to play in the 2011 World Cup.

Is this a pipe dream or a genuine belief that, in four years' time, they will be able to compete with Full Member nations? Before they can even think about the World Cup, promotion from Division Five is a must. Read the full story at Cricinfo.

What are your thoughts? Does cricket need any more fledgling nations? Should the ICC increase funding to these minor nations? Leave your feedback in the comments below.

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ahmad Shakib on December 13, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    WOW, It's realy a jumping news that Afghanistan wants to play cricket in world cup 2011. i belive in Afghanistan team, they can do it, just give them a chance then ICC will knows what is Cricket 50 Over = 500 runs - not out. this will be our aim (offcours against Pakistan). and this one is also bad news for Pakistan that another India is on the way. Gooooood luck boys. wish you to play and wish for Afghans to watch team live on TV with winnig.

  • Mariam Afghan on November 9, 2007, 18:38 GMT

    We love Cricket, and we love to see our team Playing Cricket. So please give Afghanistan a chance to Play in the World Cup 2011...

  • Haroon Ahmad on October 31, 2007, 4:19 GMT

    Afghanistan is many people’s favourites for this tournament as well as being many people’s favourites in general. They play cricket with a single-minded desire to succeed comparable to that of Indians and Pakistanis from outlying districts.

    Afghanistan have added grace and finesse to their fire and fervour and are now more than a team of big-hitting, stump-scattering individuals. They take instruction well and just need more top-class match experience to be a truly competitive force. Skill is what they are developing rapidly, match-savvy is what they need desperately. i am very much optomistic that they will get a chance for world cup 2011, and they really deserve a chance. best of luck Haroon

  • Haroon Ahmad on October 31, 2007, 4:17 GMT

    Afghanistan is many people’s favourites for this tournament as well as being many people’s favourites in general. They play cricket with a single-minded desire to succeed comparable to that of Indians and Pakistanis from outlying districts.

    Afghanistan have added grace and finesse to their fire and fervour and are now more than a team of big-hitting, stump-scattering individuals. They take instruction well and just need more top-class match experience to be a truly competitive force. Skill is what they are developing rapidly, match-savvy is what they need desperately. i am very much optomistic that they will get a chance for world cup 2011, and they really deserve a chance. best of luck Haroon

  • Abdul Baqi Stanikzai on October 22, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    in these two countries afghanistan and norway maybe afghanistan win the match

  • I zimi on September 26, 2007, 13:15 GMT

    I am prety sure that the Afghan team will do it.

  • Ahmad on September 13, 2007, 15:55 GMT

    Afghanistan will bring the sunshine in cricket world they will rock baby they will smash all these countries all the need is money and cricket facilities such as cricket pitch and ground

  • Cricket fan on September 12, 2007, 8:41 GMT

    Afghanistan will do it!!

  • Saleem Mushfiq on August 19, 2007, 14:16 GMT

    I am 100% Sure Afghanistan will do really well in the future, They are really talented You will see how they play then U will even forget the greatest cricketers like Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar,Shane Warne, Glen Mcgrat and more...Good Luck For Afghanistan Cricket Team...

  • Saleem Mushfiq on August 19, 2007, 13:55 GMT

    Wow, What a great news, I love to see Afghanistan play Cricket oneday. I know they are really strong and they are very talented as Shahid Afridi who plays Cricket for Pakistan...so I am sure they will do good in the future...Wish them all the best...

  • Ahmad Shakib on December 13, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    WOW, It's realy a jumping news that Afghanistan wants to play cricket in world cup 2011. i belive in Afghanistan team, they can do it, just give them a chance then ICC will knows what is Cricket 50 Over = 500 runs - not out. this will be our aim (offcours against Pakistan). and this one is also bad news for Pakistan that another India is on the way. Gooooood luck boys. wish you to play and wish for Afghans to watch team live on TV with winnig.

  • Mariam Afghan on November 9, 2007, 18:38 GMT

    We love Cricket, and we love to see our team Playing Cricket. So please give Afghanistan a chance to Play in the World Cup 2011...

  • Haroon Ahmad on October 31, 2007, 4:19 GMT

    Afghanistan is many people’s favourites for this tournament as well as being many people’s favourites in general. They play cricket with a single-minded desire to succeed comparable to that of Indians and Pakistanis from outlying districts.

    Afghanistan have added grace and finesse to their fire and fervour and are now more than a team of big-hitting, stump-scattering individuals. They take instruction well and just need more top-class match experience to be a truly competitive force. Skill is what they are developing rapidly, match-savvy is what they need desperately. i am very much optomistic that they will get a chance for world cup 2011, and they really deserve a chance. best of luck Haroon

  • Haroon Ahmad on October 31, 2007, 4:17 GMT

    Afghanistan is many people’s favourites for this tournament as well as being many people’s favourites in general. They play cricket with a single-minded desire to succeed comparable to that of Indians and Pakistanis from outlying districts.

    Afghanistan have added grace and finesse to their fire and fervour and are now more than a team of big-hitting, stump-scattering individuals. They take instruction well and just need more top-class match experience to be a truly competitive force. Skill is what they are developing rapidly, match-savvy is what they need desperately. i am very much optomistic that they will get a chance for world cup 2011, and they really deserve a chance. best of luck Haroon

  • Abdul Baqi Stanikzai on October 22, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    in these two countries afghanistan and norway maybe afghanistan win the match

  • I zimi on September 26, 2007, 13:15 GMT

    I am prety sure that the Afghan team will do it.

  • Ahmad on September 13, 2007, 15:55 GMT

    Afghanistan will bring the sunshine in cricket world they will rock baby they will smash all these countries all the need is money and cricket facilities such as cricket pitch and ground

  • Cricket fan on September 12, 2007, 8:41 GMT

    Afghanistan will do it!!

  • Saleem Mushfiq on August 19, 2007, 14:16 GMT

    I am 100% Sure Afghanistan will do really well in the future, They are really talented You will see how they play then U will even forget the greatest cricketers like Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar,Shane Warne, Glen Mcgrat and more...Good Luck For Afghanistan Cricket Team...

  • Saleem Mushfiq on August 19, 2007, 13:55 GMT

    Wow, What a great news, I love to see Afghanistan play Cricket oneday. I know they are really strong and they are very talented as Shahid Afridi who plays Cricket for Pakistan...so I am sure they will do good in the future...Wish them all the best...

  • Naveed Wahib on August 15, 2007, 7:36 GMT

    people call indians and pakis as passionate, but boy oh boy, wait until you see afghans on a sporting field because as they say never face an afghan in a war zone or a sporting field. Man, watching cricketis getting boring everyday, but wait untill u see a team like afghans with eleven Afridi's and eleven Shaun Taits. That's when Australia will find a real opponent to play against and start playing real "Ashes"

  • Roman on August 4, 2007, 11:01 GMT

    hi!! give the underdogs(afghanistan) a chance, they got the spirit for the game, what u need more ? they can carry up the game to the highest level, provide them all facilites, and right coaching, they know thier goal within fem years.. I am sure they will be long term member of the cricket world unlike other europien countries. peace

  • Aaron on March 24, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    Theres no harm in dreaming....thats all i think they are doing,i dont beelive they will make the 2011 world cup nor do i think they will be a major cricketing force in anytime in the future.

  • ajaya on March 11, 2007, 19:00 GMT

    agree with numes on the potential of afghanistan and nepal. really do feel that the biggest stumbling block for cricket in these countries is political instability, as well as an extremely inept asian cricket council

    for nepal, at least, the signs are positive. the age-group teams have continually impressed in both regional and world competitions, and recent corporate sponsorship means that nepal will have a 2-day national league in the near future.

    at the moment, the biggest responsibility of the acc is to provide meaningful competition to regional associates so that these teams can grow and learn. however, the acc has in the recent past made some incredible mistakes. consider: the acc refused the icc's offer to include the top 2 qualifying asian associate nations in the icc high-performance program, stating that the acc itself would take care of it.

    however, it has not done anything to back up its words. instead, it seems that promotion of regional associates has regressed. after an ill-organized 2006 asian premier league 3-day competition, they have decided to scrap the program and replace it with a 20/20 competition.

    i believe this shows a lack of true developmental intent on the part of the acc. what serious development program would replace the longer version, where both teams and players can grow and mature, with a hit-and-giggle format?

    20/20 games may provide better spectator enjoyment, but they dont teach a batsman to build a double-century.

    at the same time, witness the superb associate cricket structure of the european cricket council and the subsequent rewards: of the 6 associates in the present version of the world cup, 3 are european teams.

    nepal and afghanistan have true potential, with ENORMOUS popular support for the game. nepal, in particular, have the potential to qualify as a test nation within a 20-year timeframe given the appropriate support and competition.

    sadly, it seems that only support the acc is ready to supply is verbal

    ps: note to numes. nepal is no longer officially a 'hindu' country, but a secular state. about time too

  • Fahd on March 11, 2007, 18:30 GMT

    The heads of pakistani football team were shaved for wearing shorts in Afghanistan....imagine what would happen when english or aussies going there???

  • Ali on March 11, 2007, 17:59 GMT

    I think afganistan should play cricket, for two reason one that they are pathan basically are stronge plus it is near pakistan they can have training there if the facilities are not provided ok thx bye.

  • Nafi Karim on March 11, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    I agree with a lot of the points Numes made but not the last paragraph because I do think that they European minnows do have a future in cricket to some extent. Its good to see the minnows setting goals for themselves and who knows, may be 2 years later the Afghans will be strong enough to qualify to the world cup qualifier and even replace one of the minnows of the current world cup?

  • sumaiya on March 11, 2007, 16:25 GMT

    No it will not be good.World cup matches should be played by best teams like Australia, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand and England. Seconly we can say Isdia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and bangladesh.

  • raju on March 11, 2007, 16:15 GMT

    I think ICC is not give that much of importance to send cricket in every peoples house like football does, that’s why cricket is not famous game in the world like other games.. Look what is the present situation only 10 team have test status and 13 team have one day status they say they arrange world cup, my question is this a world cup where only 14/16 team are playing out of the over 150 countries are in the world? and if the game between two team where neither team is host than how many viewers is present in stadium? Look back at ICC chamois trophy how many viewers were present if the game is not between India with others team. The amount of presence of the viewers is decreasing. I also think there process of selecting new team in the world cup is not only worse but also disgusting. They should select team in continent base like in Europe 4 or 3 will be select for the world cup and in Asia 4 team, Africa 3 team and north and South America 2 team. In that way the competition will build and new country will interest to play cricket or may they have build better idea to famous this game, But if the present situation continue I think cricket will lose is position.

  • Mazdoor From Norway on March 11, 2007, 16:11 GMT

    We can go into the World Cup 2011 with the feeling we are no.1 in the world we are very confident that we will be able to do that

  • joe on March 11, 2007, 15:50 GMT

    I am happy that Afghanistan and norway has shown interest in the game. On the other hand i really hope that no asian immigrants play the game for those countries. I just hope that only the natives play, then only cricket will grow as a sport globally.

  • sreekumar on March 11, 2007, 15:48 GMT

    It is ofcourse undoubtedly good for the game that more and more countries are taking a keen intrest in this great sport.

    I write in answer to numes comment. Having a half decent one day team is one thing and having a half decent test team is an entirely another cup of tea.

    Afghanistan, Norway and co. should definitely try and get to play in the world cup. It wld be good PR for the game in their respective countries. However beating an MCC team led by Gatting in a carnival game is a long way from being a cricketing nation.

    I would also suggest a change in the mentality. Though they r notorious for nespotic bhaviour in team selection I doubt if Pakistan would support Afghanistan in order to gain a voting ally.

    Moreover cricket is not a medium for thumping ur noses at erstwhile colonial masters hence for that sole reason supporting or nourshing cricket among the subcontinental teams is at the very least foolish.

    Cricket to develop requires rather than financial support from both the ICC and established memebers a lot of time and a lot of first class cricket.

    Minnow nations would be well advised to realise that money or financial support does not, unlike English premiership guarantee a half decent cricket team. What support can be and needs to be given is access to coaching and a chance to play in a provincial tournaments. Srilanka did such a think for ages. Playing the south indian teams for Pattibhiraman trophy. Bangladesh however was too proud to ask and continues to almost win a test. (oh yeah they did beat zimbabwe so what? ganguly just b4 he was dropped scored a century against them.A fat load of good it did him)

    so friend dont beg for money or trade for voting favours for assistance. Get out in the sun and try and play some decent first class matches. That and that alone will get u a invite to the high table.

    remember Rome was not buid in a day.

  • Isam on March 11, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    if a country like Bangladesh can dream...play and then become a Test nation, anything can happen!

  • Daniel Gliddon on March 11, 2007, 14:42 GMT

    Its great to see the lowly minows aiming high and I hope they do get there in the end but in four years time is a little to much to ask for

  • Numes on March 11, 2007, 14:30 GMT

    afghanistan, nepal and to some extent namibia will be frontrunners among the associates in the next 5-10 years.. there is genuine indigenous interest in the game in the two south asian nations and it doesnt hurt that their four regional neighbors are the sport's most passionate followers.. though historically, india, pakistan and sri lanka have been far from forthcoming or supportive beyond mere verbal support in aiding the development of the sport in bangladesh, india might feel more receptive to assisting the only officially hindu nation in the world - nepal. Pakistan is singularly responsible for the popularity of the sport in Afghanistan and judging from the raw talent and enthusiasm of afghan cricketers - afghanistan can surely rise quickly if given the appropriate level of support and down the line can be strong ally for pakistan and indeed the south asian bloc in the machinations of the icc.

    In namibia, like zimbabwe, the sport is popular amongst a substantial portion of the citizenry of european ancestry. the good thing is that they are far from being an insignificant minority and as such even if native nambians do not take to the sport, nurturing the interest of white namibians should be adequate to build a reasonably strong team to the tune of Zimbabwe of the late 90s. Namibia have already qualified for the world cup once and some of their players have shown signs of brilliance. South Africa must support their neighbors in this endeavor. Certainly the disintegration of cricket in zimbabwe and the demise of kenya from World Cup Semi-Finalist in 2003 to a "minnow" in 2007 has been a maswsive blow to the development of an african bloc in the icc. Namibia should be regular participants in the South African domestic league for they have already shown that they have the depth of experience to compete.

    As far as the other associates go, im not quite sure why a couple of lines were dropped on norway without mentioning anything substantial apart from intent. cricket in norway as in much of europe is an expats game and holds no future whatsoever - the only exceptions being Ireland, Scotland and Holland. Even in these countries that are currently participating in the World Cup and have decent teams, cricket will always be a minor sport. Unlike the case of Afghanistan, Nepal and Namibia - these countries dont lack the funds to invest in cricket - they lack popular interest to motivate them to do so. Football, rugby and other sports are already well established in these countries and its unlikely from support trends in recent years in these countries that this will change.

  • Rohan on March 11, 2007, 14:25 GMT

    It is great that countries like Afghanistan and Norway are looking ahead. I hope the players involved in these countries are born and bread in their respective countries. There is no point in allowing other players from test playing nations to be part of the team. Most non-test team have many test playing countries players in their team. I think thats not fair!!!!!!!

  • Vishnu Ravindranath on March 11, 2007, 14:17 GMT

    Its a good news that Afghanistan and Norway are going to bring up cricketers.I am sure they will do well and I think we need to have more and more competitors in International Cricket.

  • Zoheb Siddiqui on March 11, 2007, 14:07 GMT

    I've got more hopes on Afghanistan than Norway. Afghanistan, with its close proximity to the sub continent can really flourish and cricket can really grow if they get the right facilities and the right kind of support. About Norway, im not very optimistic.

  • Abdullah Furmully on March 11, 2007, 14:04 GMT

    the enthusiasm for cricket in afghanistan is far mre widespread than countries like canada and norway, people actually love the game, so given the right acomodations the country would be a cricketing force withten next 15 years, no doubt about it

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  • Abdullah Furmully on March 11, 2007, 14:04 GMT

    the enthusiasm for cricket in afghanistan is far mre widespread than countries like canada and norway, people actually love the game, so given the right acomodations the country would be a cricketing force withten next 15 years, no doubt about it

  • Zoheb Siddiqui on March 11, 2007, 14:07 GMT

    I've got more hopes on Afghanistan than Norway. Afghanistan, with its close proximity to the sub continent can really flourish and cricket can really grow if they get the right facilities and the right kind of support. About Norway, im not very optimistic.

  • Vishnu Ravindranath on March 11, 2007, 14:17 GMT

    Its a good news that Afghanistan and Norway are going to bring up cricketers.I am sure they will do well and I think we need to have more and more competitors in International Cricket.

  • Rohan on March 11, 2007, 14:25 GMT

    It is great that countries like Afghanistan and Norway are looking ahead. I hope the players involved in these countries are born and bread in their respective countries. There is no point in allowing other players from test playing nations to be part of the team. Most non-test team have many test playing countries players in their team. I think thats not fair!!!!!!!

  • Numes on March 11, 2007, 14:30 GMT

    afghanistan, nepal and to some extent namibia will be frontrunners among the associates in the next 5-10 years.. there is genuine indigenous interest in the game in the two south asian nations and it doesnt hurt that their four regional neighbors are the sport's most passionate followers.. though historically, india, pakistan and sri lanka have been far from forthcoming or supportive beyond mere verbal support in aiding the development of the sport in bangladesh, india might feel more receptive to assisting the only officially hindu nation in the world - nepal. Pakistan is singularly responsible for the popularity of the sport in Afghanistan and judging from the raw talent and enthusiasm of afghan cricketers - afghanistan can surely rise quickly if given the appropriate level of support and down the line can be strong ally for pakistan and indeed the south asian bloc in the machinations of the icc.

    In namibia, like zimbabwe, the sport is popular amongst a substantial portion of the citizenry of european ancestry. the good thing is that they are far from being an insignificant minority and as such even if native nambians do not take to the sport, nurturing the interest of white namibians should be adequate to build a reasonably strong team to the tune of Zimbabwe of the late 90s. Namibia have already qualified for the world cup once and some of their players have shown signs of brilliance. South Africa must support their neighbors in this endeavor. Certainly the disintegration of cricket in zimbabwe and the demise of kenya from World Cup Semi-Finalist in 2003 to a "minnow" in 2007 has been a maswsive blow to the development of an african bloc in the icc. Namibia should be regular participants in the South African domestic league for they have already shown that they have the depth of experience to compete.

    As far as the other associates go, im not quite sure why a couple of lines were dropped on norway without mentioning anything substantial apart from intent. cricket in norway as in much of europe is an expats game and holds no future whatsoever - the only exceptions being Ireland, Scotland and Holland. Even in these countries that are currently participating in the World Cup and have decent teams, cricket will always be a minor sport. Unlike the case of Afghanistan, Nepal and Namibia - these countries dont lack the funds to invest in cricket - they lack popular interest to motivate them to do so. Football, rugby and other sports are already well established in these countries and its unlikely from support trends in recent years in these countries that this will change.

  • Daniel Gliddon on March 11, 2007, 14:42 GMT

    Its great to see the lowly minows aiming high and I hope they do get there in the end but in four years time is a little to much to ask for

  • Isam on March 11, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    if a country like Bangladesh can dream...play and then become a Test nation, anything can happen!

  • sreekumar on March 11, 2007, 15:48 GMT

    It is ofcourse undoubtedly good for the game that more and more countries are taking a keen intrest in this great sport.

    I write in answer to numes comment. Having a half decent one day team is one thing and having a half decent test team is an entirely another cup of tea.

    Afghanistan, Norway and co. should definitely try and get to play in the world cup. It wld be good PR for the game in their respective countries. However beating an MCC team led by Gatting in a carnival game is a long way from being a cricketing nation.

    I would also suggest a change in the mentality. Though they r notorious for nespotic bhaviour in team selection I doubt if Pakistan would support Afghanistan in order to gain a voting ally.

    Moreover cricket is not a medium for thumping ur noses at erstwhile colonial masters hence for that sole reason supporting or nourshing cricket among the subcontinental teams is at the very least foolish.

    Cricket to develop requires rather than financial support from both the ICC and established memebers a lot of time and a lot of first class cricket.

    Minnow nations would be well advised to realise that money or financial support does not, unlike English premiership guarantee a half decent cricket team. What support can be and needs to be given is access to coaching and a chance to play in a provincial tournaments. Srilanka did such a think for ages. Playing the south indian teams for Pattibhiraman trophy. Bangladesh however was too proud to ask and continues to almost win a test. (oh yeah they did beat zimbabwe so what? ganguly just b4 he was dropped scored a century against them.A fat load of good it did him)

    so friend dont beg for money or trade for voting favours for assistance. Get out in the sun and try and play some decent first class matches. That and that alone will get u a invite to the high table.

    remember Rome was not buid in a day.

  • joe on March 11, 2007, 15:50 GMT

    I am happy that Afghanistan and norway has shown interest in the game. On the other hand i really hope that no asian immigrants play the game for those countries. I just hope that only the natives play, then only cricket will grow as a sport globally.

  • Mazdoor From Norway on March 11, 2007, 16:11 GMT

    We can go into the World Cup 2011 with the feeling we are no.1 in the world we are very confident that we will be able to do that