In 2015, the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida served as a temporary “home-ground” for the squad, with the BCCI assisting. They had relocated from Sharjah to Noida and had even played home internationals against Ireland in Greater Noida in 2017.
Following assistance from cricket’s titan, India, Afghanistan, who had been hovering about the top ranks for some time, eventually proved they belonged among the game’s best. With only their second World Cup victory, the nation’s cricket team stunned the holders England on Sunday by defeating them by 69 runs, a nation devastated by years of war and internal strife. When they were younger, Afghan cricket players spent a lot of time training in Pakistan; some even learned the game while living in camps for refugees across the border. Even in T20 and ODI debuts against Pakistan, the war-torn nation’s team performed admirably.
However, the BCCI took over and played a significant part in the game’s quick rise in the strife-torn nation.
The Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida became the team’s temporary “home-ground” in 2015, with the BCCI assisting. They have relocated from Sharjah to Noida and even played home international matches against Ireland in Greater Noida in 2017.
In addition, Afghanistan “hosted” a Twenty20 series against Bangladesh in Dehradun.
Former India players Lalchand Rajput and Manoj Prabhakar have also coached the Afghan squad, with the latter serving as bowling coach.
To further strengthen bilateral relations, the BCCI invited then-Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to witness the team play their first Test match in Afghanistan.
Since then, the team has progressed significantly, often competing in ICC international competitions in addition to attaining Test status.
Afghan players in the IPL have also contributed to the growth of the sport in the country.
Afghanistan has always recognised India’s contribution to their progress as a cricketing nation.
Afghanistan became the 12th Test playing nation five years ago, after a 23-year odyssey that began in 1995 with the establishment of the Afghanistan Cricket Federation.
Afghanistan, despite their recent ups and downs, was longing for a performance similar to what they pulled off on Sunday against one of the biggest teams in the league.
Given that they don’t often play against the more experienced teams in the 50-over format, it is pretty amazing that they were able to destroy the current world champions, England.
Afghanistan beat the England bowlers by dominating the tough English batting line-up with their spin trio after being put in to bat on a surface that had lately delivered large runs.
Rashid Khan, the team’s greatest benefactor, took the final wicket to complete the historic victory and leave the English broken and injured, which was just fitting.
Hashmatullah Shahidi, the captain of Afghanistan, was obviously thrilled with the outcome.
“My teammates and I are both very thrilled. Shahidi encapsulated the atmosphere when he said, “This is the best win for us; the confidence will be there for the next game, and I’m very proud.”