Afghanistan national cricket team
|ICC membership granted||2001|
|ICC member status||Affiliate member with ODI status|
|ICC development region||Asia|
|World Cricket League division||One|
|First recorded match||15 October 2001 v Nowshehra at Gymkhana Ground, Peshawar, Pakistan|
|One Day Internationals|
|ODI matches played||22|
|Twenty20 Internationals played||17|
|Twenty20 International wins/losses||10/7|
|First class cricket|
|First class matches played||9|
|First class wins/losses||7/0|
|List A cricket|
|List A matches played||33|
|List A wins/losses||16/17|
|ICC World Cup Qualifier|
|Appearances||1 (First in 2009)|
|Best result||5th (2009)|
|ICC World Twenty20|
|Appearances||2 (First in 2010)|
|Best result||First round (2010)|
|As of 12 November 2011|
The Afghanistan national cricket team (Pashto:دافغانستان کرکټ ملي لوبډله) is the team that represents the country of Afghanistan in international cricket matches. Cricket has been played in Afghanistan since the mid 19th century, but it is only in recent years that the national team has become successful. The Afghanistan Cricket Federation was formed in 1995 and became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2001 and a member of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in 2003. They are ranked ninth in International Twenty20 cricket as of 9 November 2011, ahead of ICC full member nations Zimbabwe and the currently unranked Bangladesh.
The national team was formed in 2001, which played in the 2009 World Cup Qualifier after rising rapidly through the World Cricket League, starting in Division Five in May 2008. The team failed to qualify for the 2011 World Cup, but did earn ODI status until 2013. In February 2010, the Afghan cricket team secured qualification to the 2010 ICC World Twenty20, the team's first major tournament. In the same year they won their first Intercontinental Cup, beating Scotland in the final. Afghanistan also won the Asia Vs Caribbean T20 Championship and beat T&T, Bangladesh and Barbados..
Afghanistan also qualified for 2012 ICC World Twenty20 held in Sri Lanka as the runner up of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier and joined India and England in the group stage. In the first match against India on 19 September, Afghanistan won the toss and elected to field. India posted 159/5 in 20 overs but Afghanistan fell short of that target by scoring 136 in 19.3 overs. In the second match against England on 21 September, Afghanistan won the toss and again elected to field. England set a target of 196/5 (20 overs) but Afghanistan were all out for 80 in 17.2 overs. England and India qualified for the Super Eights and Afghanistan were eliminated as a result of this match.
Pre-ODI history 
The earliest record of cricket in Afghanistan is of British troops playing a match in Kabul in 1839, though it appears that no long lasting legacy of cricket was left by the British. In the 1990s, cricket became popular amongst the Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan, and the Afghanistan Cricket Board was formed there in 1995. They continued to play cricket on their return to their home country. Like all sports, cricket was originally banned by the Taliban, but cricket became an exception in 2000 (being the only sport in Afghanistan to be approved by the Taliban) and the Afghanistan Cricket Federation was elected as an affiliate member of the ICC the following year.
The national team was invited to play in the second tier of Pakistani domestic cricket the same year, and the tour brought international media attention to Afghan cricket when the US-led invasion of the country began whilst the team was in Pakistan. The team lost three and drew two of the five matches on the tour.
They played in two Pakistani tournaments in 2003, winning their first match that year. They began playing in Asian regional tournaments in 2004, finishing sixth in their first ACC Trophy. More success began in 2006 when they were runners-up to Bahrain in the Middle East Cup and beat an MCC side featuring former England captain Mike Gatting by 171 runs in Mumbai. Gatting was dismissed for a duck.
They toured England in the summer of 2006, winning six out of seven matches. Three of their wins came against the second XIs of Essex, Glamorgan and Leicestershire. They finished third in the ACC Trophy that year, beating Nepal in a play-off match.
They won their first tournament in 2007, sharing the ACC Twenty20 Cup with Oman after the two tied in the final. They began their qualifying campaign for the 2011 World Cup in Jersey in 2008, winning Division Five of the World Cricket League. They finished third in the ACC Trophy Elite tournament the same year, and won a second consecutive WCL tournament, Division Four in Tanzania later in the year.
In January 2009, Afghanistan progressed to the 2009 World Cup Qualifier by winning Division Three of the World Cricket League in Buenos Aires, topping the table on net run rate ahead of Uganda and Papua New Guinea.
ODI status 
In the 2011 Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament, Afghanistan failed to progress to the World Cup, but earned ODI status for four years. Their first ODI was against Scotland in the 5th place playoff, having previously beaten the Scots earlier in the tournament; Afghanistan won by 89 runs.
In the Intercontinental Cup Afghanistan played its first first-class match against a Zimbabwe XI in a four-day match in Mutare. During the match, which was drawn, Afghan batsman Noor Ali scored centuries in both his innings, making him only the fourth player to do so on their first-class debut. Later, in August 2009, they played the Netherlands in same competition at the VRA Cricket Ground, winning a low-scoring match by one wicket.
Afghanistan then took part in the 2009 ACC Twenty20 Cup in the United Arab Emirates. Afghanistan were drawn in Group A, a group which Afghanistan topped at the end of the group stages by winning all five of their matches. In the semi-finals the Afghans defeated Kuwait by 8 wickets. In the final they met the hosts, the United Arab Emirates, whom they defeated by 84 runs.
On 1 February 2010, Afghanistan played their first Twenty20 International against Ireland, which they lost by 5 wickets. On 13 February 2010, Afghanistan first defeated the United Arab Emirates by 4 wickets to make their way to the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 to be in the West Indies in April 2010. Later the same day they defeated Ireland by 8 wickets in the Final of 2010 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier and won the qualifier. Afghanistan were in Group C of the main tournament, with India and South Africa. During their first match against India, opening batsman Noor Ali hit 50 runs, helping Afghanistan to a score of 115 in their 20 overs. Despite this they lost the match by 8 wickets. In their second match, the team were reduced to 14/6 at one stage, before a late rally from Mirwais Ashraf and Hamid Hassan helped Afghanistan post 88 all out, resulting in a loss by 59 runs.
The teams Intercontinental Cup campaign continued in 2010, with wins over Ireland, Canada, Scotland and Kenya before they beat Scotland by 7 wickets in the final in Dubai. Also in 2010, they won the ACC Trophy Elite tournament in Kuwait, beating Nepal in the final and finished third in Division One of the World Cricket League in the Netherlands. They took part in the cricket tournament at the 2010 Asian Games in China and won the silver medal, losing to Bangladesh in the final.
In 2011, Afghanistan begun playing in the 2011-13 ICC Intercontinental Cup. They beat Canada and drew with the UAE. In the parallel one-day league, they won two matches against Canada and lost twice to the UAE. In March, 2013, they played two T2o Internationals against Scotland in UAE and prevailed in both matches. They also won two ODIs in World Cricket League Championship against the same opponents. Afghanistan drew level with Scotland in second in the WCL Championship table after the two convincing wins that boosted their hopes of securing automatic qualification for the 2015 World Cup. Currently Ireland lead the WCL Championship with 13 points, with Scotland and Afghanistan on 11, having played two games more. Netherlands, in fourth, face Namibia next month, while fifth-placed UAE host Ireland later in March. There will be a further two rounds of games, with the top two teams guaranteed a spot at the next World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Afghanistan also inflicted a crushing defeat on Scotland in their ICC Intercontinental Cup match. Afghanistan 275 (Shah 67*, Davey 4-53) beat Scotland 125 (Taylor 48*, Dawlatzai 6-57) and 145 (Coetzer 57, Dawlatzai 5-37) by an innings and 5 runs. Izatullah Dawlatzai took eleven wickets in the match as Afghanistan defeated Scotland by an innings and five runs in Abu Dhabi.
Tournament history 
|World Cup record|
|1975||Not eligible - not an ICC member|
|2003||not an ICC member at time of qualifying|
|2007||Did not qualify|
|World Twenty20 record|
|2007||Did not participate|
- 1996–2002: Not eligible, not an ACC member.
- 2004: 6th place
- 2006: 3rd place
- 2008: 3rd place (Elite)
- 2010: Winners (Elite)
Middle East Cup 
- 2006: Runners-up
Asia vs Caribbean T20 Championship 
- 2012: Winners
The future 
In December 2011, Afghanistan took part in the ACC Twenty20 Cup in Nepal, where they were drawn in the same group as Hong Kong, Oman, Kuwait and the Maldives. The event was a qualifier for the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, but Afghanistan have already qualified for the event in the United Arab Emirates. Further matches in the 2011-13 Intercontinental Cup and the associated one-day league will be played in 2012 against the Netherlands and Ireland and in 2013 against Scotland, Namibia and Kenya. Afghanistan played its first One Day International against a Full Member of the International Cricket Council in February 2012 when they played a single match against Pakistan at Sharjah. Afghanistan also took on Australia Cricket Team for only ODI at Sharjah in August 2012 .
In March 2013, Afghanistan received a boost after a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the development of Afghanistan cricket ahead of the 2015 World Cup. The PCB will provide technical and professional support, including game-education programmes, coaching courses, skill and performance analysis, and basic umpiring and curator courses. High performance camps for emerging players will also be organised. The PCB-regulated National Cricket Academy (NCA) will help in improving technical, tactical, mental and physical skills, and will host lectures on doping, anti-corruption and various codes of conduct. The finance for the project will be decided later, with the NCA-related activities likely to be subsidised.
Afghanistan do not play their homes matches in Afghanistan due to the ongoing security situation and the lack of international standard facilities. Afghanistan played their 'home' Intercontinental Cup fixture against Ireland at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Sri Lanka. Following Afghanistan's World Twenty20 qualifying campaign they played two One Day Internationals against Canada at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in the UAE, after which the stadium was named the 'home' ground of Afghanistan.
As plans to resurrect Afghan cricket and the country itself it was later announced that Kabul National Cricket Stadium would be built and completed by July 2011 it would employ many local Afghans in construction and later maintenance. It would also see new sprinklers, seats, training centre and a 6000 seat capacity built for people to watch and play cricket. The stadium is the hub of international and domestic cricket in Afghanistan. Outside of Jalalabad, the Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Cricket Stadium has been constructed.
Current squad 
- Nawroz Mangal
- Asghar Stanikzai
- Dawlat Zadran
- Gulbudeen Naib
- Hamid Hassan
- Hamza Hotak
- Izatullah Dawlatzai
- Javed Ahmadi
- Karim Sadiq
- Mohammad Nabi(c)
- Mohammad Shahzad
- Noor Ali
- Samiullah Shenwari
- Shabir Noori
- Shapoor Zadran
- Najeeb Noory
Former players 
One-day International 
- Highest team total: 295-8 v Scotland, 19 April 2009 at Willowmoore Park, Benoni, South Africa
- Highest individual score: 118 by Mohammad Shahzad v Canada, 16 February 2010 at Sharjah
- Most runs in career: 652 by Mohammad Shahzad 
- Best innings bowling: 4-24 by Shapoor Zadran v the Netherlands, 30 August 2009 at VRA Ground, Amstelveen
- Most wickets in career: 25 by Samiullah Shenwari 
Twenty20 International 
- Highest team total: 174-8 v Canada, 18 March 2012 at ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground, DubaiScorecard of Afghanistan v Canada, 13 February 2010 at CricketArchive</ref>
- Highest individual score: 77 by Mohammad Shahzad v Ireland, 24 March 2012 at Dubai Sports City Stadium
- Most runs in career: 199 by Noor Ali Zadran
- Best innings bowling: 3-17 by Karim Sadiq v Ireland, 9 February 2010 at Dubai Sports City Stadium
- Most wickets in career: 14 by Hamid Hassan
See also 
- Encyclopedia of World Cricket by Roy Morgan, Sports books Publishing, Page 15
- Profile of Afghanistan at the ACC website
- ICC team rankings
- Afghanistan and Uganda seal place in ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, ICC Media Release, 31 January 2009
- WCL Division Five Official Site
- 2010 World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament page at CricketEurope
- 2009-10 Intercontinental Cup at CricketEurope
- Timeline of Afghanistan cricket at CricketEurope
- Scorecard of Afghanistan v Scotland, 19 April 2009 at CricketArchive
- 2009: The Year of the Afghans by Rod Lyall at CricketEurope
- ACC Twenty20 Cup at CricketEurope
- Scorecard of UAE v Afghanistan, 30 November 2009 at CricketArchive
- [List of International Twenty20 matches played by Afghanistan] at CricketArchive
- Scorecard of Afghanistan v Ireland, 1 February 2010 at CricketArchive
- Afghanistan v India, ICC World Twenty20 2010 (Group C)
- Afghanistan v South Africa, ICC World Twenty20 2010 (Group C)
- Scorecard of Afghanistan v Nepal, 9 April 2010 at CricketArchive
- 2010 WCL Division One results at CricketEurope
- Scorecard of Afghanistan v Bangladesh, 26 November 2010 at CricketArchive
- 2011-13 Intercontinental Cup results at CricketEurope
- 2011-13 Intercontinental Cup One-day results at CricketEurope
- Asian qualifying for the 2005 ICC Trophy at CricketEurope
- Points tables for the 2010 World Twenty20 at CricketArchive
- 2011 ACC Twenty20 Cup tournament page
- 2011-13 Intercontinental Cup fixtures at CricketEurope
- Afghanistan has a new home ground, ACC
- AFP (24 November 2010). "Kabul International Cricket Stadium to be inagurated". Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- Afghanistan's first cricket stadium by Hilal Momand at ACC website
- Highest Team Totals for Afghanistan in ODI matches at CricketArchive
- Highest individual innings for Afghanistan in ODI matches at Cricket Archive
- Scorecard of Afghanistan v Canada, 16 February 2010 at CricketArchive
- Most runs in career for Afghanistan in ODI matches at CricketArchive
- Best bowling in an innings for Afghanistan in ODI matches at CricketArchive
- Scorecard of Netherlands v Afghanistan, 30 August 2009 at CricketArchive
- Most wickets in career for Afghanistan in ODI matches at CricketArchive
- Highest team totals for Afghanistan in International Twenty20 matches at CricketArchive
- Highest individual innings for Afghanistan in International Twenty20 matches at CricketArchive
- Scorecard at CricketArchive
- Most runs in career for Afghanistan in International Twenty20 matches at CricketArchive
- Best bowling in an innings for Afghanistan in International Twenty20 matches at CricketArchive
- Scorecard of Afghanistan v Ireland, 9 February 2010 at CricketArchive
- Most wickets in career for Afghanistan in International Twenty20 matches at CricketArchive
- Afghanistan Cricket
- Afghanistan Cricket Official website
- Afghanistan National Cricket Board Official website