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Tag Archive | Afghanistan

New Zealand, To Its Eternal Credit, Exemplifies The Decency & Dignity I Ascribe To Cricket Playing Nations.

by Anura Guruge


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Cricket civilizes you. Plain and simple. Sportsmanship is paramount in cricket. Hence, the above expression: “It isn’t cricket”.

So, I, who watch cricket, on a large screen TV, nearly every day, and have been a fanatic all my life, strongly believe that cricket playing nations tend to be more decnet than those that don’t play cricket.

By ‘cricket playing nations’ I am referring to the 12 countries permitted to play 5-Day International Test Matches. Yes, cricket at the highest level, is played between countries and a match can last up to 5-days — and still end in a draw. That is the beauty & charm. That is what civilizes you. No crash, bangk, wallop. Very dignified.

Right now there are 11 countries that are Test nations: India, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The ‘West Indies‘ also play Test cricket but they are a conglomeration of small states that come together to play cricket. 105-countries, worldwide, play cricket. But, I am talking just about the 11 Test playing countries — New Zealand one of them.

I am so proud of New Zealand. Way to go. Obviously, it would have been better if this unfortunate incident never happened, but NZ showed us how to rise above and prevail.

And their 38-year old Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. WOW. WOW. WOW. What class. What courage. She is exemplary.

I have thought about immigrating to New Zealand! I, however, have never been. Not even close. I also don’t have any NZ friends. Dealt with a fe, but I can’t say I interact with any Kiwanis right now. My loss.

One of my all time heroes, Edmund Hillary, is a New Zealander.

I know NZ from all the cricket I watch — and some rugby. I count Richard Hadlee, Glenn Turner, Bev Congdon, Ross Taylor et. al. among my favorites. Bev Congdon made my Summer of 1973!

So, I have always had an affinity with dear Ol’ New Zealand — a British Commonwealth member no less.

How they have behaved and prevailed over the last few days has been brilliant. So, inspirational.

Thank YOU, New Zealand.

Thank YOU, Jacinda Ardern.


by Anura Guruge

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India vs Afghanistan Only Test Match — Like Shooting Fish In A Barrell!

by Anura Guruge




This was ludicrous! It really was like shooting fish in a barrell. The poor Afghans were totally and utterly outclassed. It was cruel in the end.

The Afghans lasted a total of 65.9 overs across BOTH their innings. They are supposed to be ODI experts but they didn’t last 50 overs in either innings.

I hadn’t seen that much of Afghanistan in the past, but what I had seen, I had liked. They were exciting and their spinners were magical. And I also got to see Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the IPL. Rashid looked a million dollars in the IPL. In this match he looked pedestrian.

Having them play India in their first Test match was crazy — even if this was India B (without Virat Kohli). Maybe they should have cut their teeth against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or even Sri Lanka. But, based on their performance they would have struggled against any Test side. Yes, they will improve over time.

But, they have to start getting realistic. Shahzad is a really nice guy and his batting can be exhilarating. But, he really is too fat for Test cricket and his run out proved that. He needs to be put out to grass.


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by Anura Guruge


What Has Happened To The Zimbabwe Cricket Team?

by Anura Guruge


Zimbabwe-Cricket


Up until the World 2016 Twenty20 earlier this year I had been REALLY enjoying watching the Zimbabweans — especially their batsman. They played with a gusto and passion which reminded me of my West Indies of the 1970s and 1980s. In the World Cup 20/20 they looked fragile. And now in the three match ODI series against India at home. Gee. They appeared clueless. On that form I would have to say Afghanistan should be given Test credentials in place of them. It is disturbing and bad. I hope this sorry situation is being looked into ‘at home’. 


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by Anura Guruge

The Unique Beauty Of Cricket: Ramdin Voids Catch, Chris Gayle Celebrates With Afghanistan Victors.

by Anura Guruge


ramdincatch

Click image to access official ICC video of West Indies Denesh Ramdin saying ‘NO’ to a catch AFTER the umpire gave it as OUT.


chrisgalyeafgasas

Click image for YouTube video of West Indies Chris Gayle dancing with the Afghan players after they defeated the West Indies. Classic …


I really do not think you see this level of sportsmanship in any other sport. No wonder we have the adage “it is just not cricket” to describe ‘bad behavior’ (of the Donald Trump kind).

Earlier this year, as I documented, we had British National Hero Ian Botham wiping a tear from his eye when (black) South African youngster Temba Bavuma score his maiden century in Tests — against England. Where else would you see that. A national hero shedding a tear when somebody in the other team scores a century against their country. That was brilliant.

Then Denesh Ramdin indicating that it was NOT a fair catch AFTER the umpire gave it as OUT. There are NO REVIEWS in T20. It would have been a done deal. Even if they saw it on replays after nothing would have been said or done. It was all legit. But Ramdin voided the catch. Yes, we have seen West Indies players not say anything in other ‘questionable catch’ situations — but this was nice. Yes, I know that the outcome of this match did not matter. The West Indies had already qualified for the Semi Finals. But it was grand. Made my day.

And then to have Chris Gayle helping the victorious Afghan players celebrate. Meant a LOT to them and you could tell that. Here was a cricket superstar, from the opposition, sharing their joy. Yes, Chris Gayle did NOT play in the match — and as I just said the outcome of this match did not matter. But it was another lovely gesture. And even greater … The commentators (echoing the views of the fans) applauded. Nobody misinterpreted it as Chris Gayle not being loyal to his team. We all knew that this WAS CRICKET.


beefytear1

From Twitter. Click to ENLARGE and read.


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by Anura Guruge

Both Bangladesh & Afghanistan At #ICCWT20 Demonstrated Why They Still Need More Experience.

by Anura Guruge


wedbanla


Wedgroups1223

Current standings as of Wednesday, March 23, 2016. From http://www.icc-cricket.com of course. Where else? Click to ENLARGE and study.


My heart went out to both Bangladesh & Afghanistan last night, Wednesday, March 23, 2016. Yes, I stayed up and watched the highlights of BOTH matches. I was sure, at the start of their innings that they would win. What an upset that would have been — England beaten by Afghanistan. In the end it was NOT to be.

I feel bad for their supporters. The Bangladeshis must feel crushed. So close and yet so far.

In the end, however, it was sheer inexperience. And you can’t buy that or short-circuit it. So the two teams that qualified will not make it to the semi-finals and hence the finals. New Zealand has been a revelation. Will this be there year? 


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by Anura Guruge

Who Knew That Afghanistan Can Play Serious (Near) World Class Cricket? Not I.

by Anura Guruge


afgzimmatch

Click to access the ‘ICC’ official page for this incredible match.


Wow. WOw. WOW!

Who knew? Not I. I think I had seen them once, last year, in some kind of T20 qualifier. I also happened to see their Under 19 team in the U19 Championship. But I never took them seriously.

Weren’t a British colony. So who taught them to play cricket and where can they play.

I happened to watch the highlights of Match 9, Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan Sunday night because I wanted to catch ALL the Zimbabwe games before the Super 10 matches started. I like Zimbabwe. They remind me of MY West Indies of the late 1970s and early 1980s. I was pretty sure that Zimbabwe would win, with overs to spare, and qualify.

Was I wrong. The Afghans sure know how to play T20. I am in awe. I will have to look up cricket in Afghanistan. I thought they would not have the time or the facilities.

Now we will see them a few more times playing the big boys and the West Indies girls.

My congratulations to Afghanistan. Well done. You played well. I will watch the whole match as soon as I get the time.

Thank YOU. That was quite the match.


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by Anura Guruge

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