The Economist – WHEN they win, the skies ring with joyful gunfire.


  • Afghanistan’s cricket team is wildly popular.
  • On June 14th Afghanistan became the 12th country to play test cricket, taking on India in Bangalore.
  • The national team first gained recognition in 2008, rising from lowly Division 5 to the cusp of qualification for the World Cup in 2011.
  • As cricket’s popularity has surged, the Taliban have found it politically expedient to ride on the team’s coat-tails.
  • They have even been known to contact Afghan cricket officials to wish the national team well before big games.

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