Afghanistan soars to success against Zimbabwe in World T20 qualifier | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Afghanistan soars to success against Zimbabwe in World T20 qualifier

The International Cricket Council takes great pleasure in trumpeting the expansion of the game to new territories, though much of it is due to the expat communities there. The fallacy in ICC’s eagerness to claim credit is laid bare by the displeasure many of the Associate members express with its policies, especially during every World Cup.

cricket Updated: Mar 13, 2016 12:18 IST
Sumil Sudhakaran
Afghanistan players celebrate their victory against Zimbabwe in the ICC T20 World Cup match in Nagpur on Saturday.
Afghanistan players celebrate their victory against Zimbabwe in the ICC T20 World Cup match in Nagpur on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

The International Cricket Council takes great pleasure in trumpeting the expansion of the game to new territories, though much of it is due to the expat communities there. The fallacy in ICC’s eagerness to claim credit is laid bare by the displeasure many of the Associate members express with its policies, especially during every World Cup.

On Saturday, Afghanistan registered a 59-run win over Zimbabwe, a full member, at the World T20 in Nagpur, and thereby advanced to the tournament proper, the Super 10. Afghanistan had won their ODI and T20 series against the same opposition in Zimbabwe late last year, a first for Associate nations. The Associate members are now hoping this could fuel change.

Hoping and writing

“All the Associate members are facing difficulties in getting games from the full members. The full members have their Future Tours Programme, we have to try and insert ourselves in the midst of that programme and sometimes that is not that easy,” said Tony Brian, the chairman of Cricket Scotland, ahead of Saturday’s game.

Hong Kong’s left-handed batsman Mark Chapman said the lack of opportunity to play could also push the players towards a full member team. Chapman is eligible to play for New Zealand. “I think it is a choice that has to be made when a full member nation dangles the carrot of regular matches, against other full members.”

Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai celebrates his team’s victory against Zimbabwe in the ICC T20 World Cup match in Nagpur on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

“There are three tiers essentially. There are the Test nations, who get the most of the money, then there is Afghanistan and Ireland who get double or slightly more than double of what we get, and then there is the tier of nations like Scotland, Holland, Papua New Guinea and ones like that who get significantly less. With the less amount of money, there are fewer things we can do,” said Brian.

“We try and raise funds commercially, but that is not necessarily easy. We have no international tournament from now through to the 2019 World Cup. But the chances of us qualifying for the 2019 World Cup are much reduced if it is a 10-team event. So, we approach a potential sponsor and ask, ‘would you like to sponsor us,’ and they would ask, what kind of coverage can you offer us globally?”

“Zimbabwe get many times the funding we do. But we were only 11 runs behind them (on Thursday).”

“The 2015 World Cup showed exactly what the Associates can do, how close they are to the full members. This T20 showed the same message.”

Ireland caused the biggest upset, defeating West Indies. They also upstaged Zimbabwe.