NEW DELHI :
Afghanistan maybe facing an uncertain future but their national cricket team is distinguishing itself on the field winning their second test match against Bangladesh earlier this week. And the victory was lauded by India’s permanent representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin as a testament to Afghan resilience.
The win against Bangladesh is Afghanistan’s second victory in three matches that they have ever played – a feat last accomplished in the 19th century, Akbaruddin said.
Afghanistan beat Bangladesh by 224 runs in the one-off Test at Chittagong on Monday. New Delhi of course has several reasons to feel proud. For starters, it was against India that Afghanistan’s newly put-together team played their first Test match after gaining Test playing nation status in 2017. The India-Afghanistan tie was held in June last year in Bengaluru. And at hand to see Afghanistan take on India was Afghanistan’s chief executive officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah and India’s then minister of state for youth affairs and sports, Rajyavardhan Rathore.
Prior to playing against India, Afghan players like Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi had won the admiration of fans in India through their performance in the Indian Premier League.
Another reason for India to feel proud about Afghanistan’s cricketing prospects is the fact that though most of the Afghan cricket players were born in Pakistan and were introduced to the game there, it was New Delhi that groomed the players. Afghan cricketers were brought to India and trained on facilities in Greater Noida in the National Capital Region.
India has also helped in the construction of cricket stadia and grounds in Afghanistan, like in Kandahar, as part of its programme to help rebuild Afghanistan for which it has pledged $3.1 billion since 2001, a person familiar with the matter said.