Afghanistan routs British club cricket team

Toronto, May 2: Afghanistan’s cricket team, a squad of former refugees that is rapidly emerging as a power in international cricket, thrashed an English team from the Ditchling cricket club in Sussex.

After 25 overs each, Ditchling scored 138 for 7, while the Afghans, who this year narrowly missed qualifying for the
2011 World Cup finals in South Africa, scored 262 for five.

The team captain, Jamie Theakston, the former Blue Peter presenter turned radio presenter, said it “seemed fair” to let the Afghans win on their home ground, Globe and Mail reported.

Rais Ahmadzai, an Afghan player who grew up in a refugee camp in Pakistan where he played cricket with bats he made himself out of planks, said it was “a historic day”.

“It would have been nice if they could have played on our pitch, but the security it not good enough. This is the first time a British team has come to Afghanistan to play the Afghan team,” he added.

The game was a rematch of one held in Ditchling in 2006, when the Afghan side was supposed to be playing Sussex county’s second eleven, but ended up taking on the well-heeled denizens of a village.

The Afghans have spent the last year touring the world in their attempt to qualify for the World Cup, beating Ireland in South Africa, Nepal in Jersey and Papua New Guinea in Argentina.

By contrast, Ditchling’s only international experience is a biannual contest against the MCC – the Minorca Cricket Club. (ANI)


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