A while ago Khaled Hosseini in his book The Kite Runner brought to life the Kabul as the Afghans knew it before “Religion” got the better of it. As he told, the land is just not about Religion gone all wrong and streets painted in blood. Afghanistan is about those bald mountains, those pomegranate branches, the lamb Kababs, the Afghani Kahwa and definitely the snow.
Cricket befits a similar example here. Even as the most ardent of fans, the first thing that comes to our mind when someone mentions Afghanistan is bombs and blood, the splinters and the blister. I don’t deny this stereotype, its only human enough to be roped into such politics. But if we leave all the traditional beliefs aside and focus entirely on Cricket, then we have to agree that Cricket has brought to life the undying and amiable sportsmanship of the Afghans. The reason today’s victory against the Scottish team is so emotional is that because for a average Afghan Cricket fan it’s not just the Cricketing pride which is at stake here. Afghanistan will be a minnow no matter what the worldwide contention be. And it feels so joyous to see you country deny all that propaganda and come out on top. It has provided one of those rare moments when a sport transcends all the sporting boundaries and brings a larger and much stronger perspective into picture. It gives the common man of the nation something to boast about. Something he can be proud of.Afghans settled globally can hold their held high in front of those degrades their national standards.
No matter where Afghanistan ends in this World Cup, I am certain that decades from now, on a fine summer evening people like Nabi/Shenwari/Zadran will be sitting in their backyards and regale their grandkids about how Afghanistan won its first Cricket World Cup match and what that victory meant to an entire nation. Afghanistan Cricket is a tale of undeterred perseverance and faith. It’s a tale of young guys waking up to the sound of bombs and still going out in the streets and playing Cricket. The joy of smashing the Cricket ball as it snows in the background. It is an ongoing saga of keeping firm belief in your abilities and shining at the World stage.
The infrastructure facilities are next to nothing back home but still the players have shown remarkable technique and composure. Let us not forget how difficult it must be when you are thrown to fight on the biggest stage of them all amongst all the big boys of Cricket. They came so close to beating Zimbabwe .They had the Lankans by the neck but owing to their inexperience, let the game slip away.
There is much to take heart from that defeat and much to celebrate from today’s victory. One could mention many numbers and quotes to commemorate Afghanistan’s performance so far but let’s not destroy the romance of this post by doing that. As the Afghan Captain – The Celebration must have begun back home. Let us keep it that way. Let the fans enjoy this deeply emotional and romantic moment under the Cricketing Sun.
Hope Afghanistan keeps overcoming the odds regularly and we see a new resurgent face of the Afghans. Looking forward to see more of Afghani action on the Cricket fields. Hope Cricket goes a long way in reshaping Afghanistan pride globally. Hearty congratulations to each and every Cricket Crazy Afghan fan. Cheers!!!