As You Think So You Become
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Afghanistan has been the story of world cricket in the 21st century.
You could argue about India and the giant wealth it controls, about the great Australian teams at the turn of the century, Cricket Betting Tips about the Ashes of 2005 and of England's waking up to white ball cricket, about the West Indies and their two World T20 titles, about Pakistan having to endure no home cricket...
You could argue more vehemently about the impact of the first World T20 in 2007 and the phenomenon of the IPL. Cricket Betting Tips Free It would be a difficult argument to win against that. But for sheer emotion, for the exhibition of hope and determination, for the journey from playing in refugee camps to gracing the capitals of world cricket, for moving from Division 5 of the World Cricket League to Test status in ten years, for overcoming the pain and the struggle of being in one of the most difficult parts of the world, the story of Afghanistan has no parallels in world cricket.
It almost doesn't matter to me what they do in Bengaluru. For when they take the field they will tell us, having told their countrymen in a war-ravaged area, of what is possible. Cbtf Cricket So often we complain about having no resources, we sometimes bemoan that others don't do enough for our growth, we let entitlement seep into our lives. Cricket Tips Free That is when you must remember Afghanistan.
The first cricketers thought tennis balls were a luxury, then playing in the leagues in Peshawar symbolised opportunity. Match Tips Taj Malik told them what was possible, a visionary and a taskmaster who picked them up and got them ready. Often, the coaches at grassroot levels are armed with desire and commitment but as teams grow, you need more and Afghanistan did. Malik had played his part. Free Betting Tips Other coaches have arrived, India has provided grounds and a base and a welcome and T20 leagues around the world have injected confidence. Cricket Match Betting Tips A superstar has arrived. It was unimaginable even some years ago.
I looked up the scorecard from almost exactly ten years ago. May 31, 2008. Afghanistan vs Jersey at St.Saviour. I actually did a Google search for St Saviour. Mohammad Nabi played that match as did Samiullah Shenwari and Asghar Stanikzai and my favourite bowler, Hamid Hassan. They may have lost that had Hasti Gul not taken then home from 62-8. Why do I mention this? Within two years, from playing in Div 5, they were in the Caribbean playing India in the World T20. Five years later they were at the World Cup. Now they are playing a Test match.
Rashid Khan is the premier bowler of his type in T20 cricket, Nabi has closed matches in the Big Bash, Mujeeb ur Rahman looks like he has so many fingers from which to choose one to deliver a cricket ball. Afghanistan made the semifinal of the U19 World Cup. And yet, to put things in perspective, a blast at a stadium killed and injured many while the IPL was on. Players still emerge from danger and turmoil. Maybe it tempers them. What is pressure when a bomb has gone off when friends are playing?
Sport is a contest where winning is supreme. Not so in Bengaluru this week. A nation will look to a sport for joy and hope.
That is what this Test match is about.
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