Stuff – A few months ago, Afghanistan could claim to be entering the one-day international middle classes.
- In the two months before the Cricket World Cup, Afghanistan sacked both their chief executive and their captain of four years, Asghar Afghan.
- The squad Naib was then handed for the Cricket World Cup seemed driven more by gratitude at what players had done than expectation about what they would do: Hamid Hassan, a totem of the first age of Afghan cricket, was recalled from the commentary box to play after three years away.
- Afghanistan have prepared for a tournament meant to mark their elevation to world cricket’s top 10 by ditching their captain and picking the wrong team.
- It is the very wonder of Afghanistan’s tale – of players learning the game as refugees, taking on the world and needing just 15 years to reach the world’s top 10 – that makes the cricket team so vulnerable to administrative malfeasance.
- The combination of more major ODIs in between Cricket World Cups, and the 2023 tournament being staged in India, where Afghanistan play their home matches, suggests the next Cricket World Cup may prove a happier experience.