All about the Afghanistan Cricket Team

The Afghanistan cricket team is governed by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and became a Full Member of the ICC on the 22nd June, 2017.

We will now take a look at the history of this team, the colours that they wear, who some of their best players are, what they have won and how they have fared against other nations, as well as how they are currently doing.

A Quick Look at the History of Afghanistan Cricket

afghanistan cricket team

The first game of cricket in Afghanistan was played by British troops in 1839, but cricket has only really been popular in the country for the last three decades.

In the 90s, the game became popular for Afghan refugees who were living in Pakistan and in 1995 they formed the Afghanistan Cricket Board. When they returned to their homeland, they continued to play, and more and more people became interested in it. The Taliban banned all sports though, but they made an exception for cricket in the year 2000.

The following year, they became an affiliate member of the ICC. Due to the fact that the interest started in refugee camps in Pakistan, their playing style is very similar to the cricket played in Pakistan - they place a lot of emphasis on wrist spin and fast bowling. In 2001, they played four matches in Pakistan and then visited again in 2003 and 2004. During their 2003 tour, they won their first match. In 2004, they were invited to participate in Asian regional competitions, and they finished 6th in the first ACC Trophy that they played.

More success arrived in 2006 when they finished second in the Middle East Cup and then won against an MCC team that featured Mike Gatting, a former England captain. They also toured England in the summer of 2006 and won six out of the seven matches that they played. Their first tournament win came in 2007 when they shared the ACC Twenty20 Cup with Oman. In 2009, they progressed to the World Cup Qualifiers when they won they finished top of the table in the World Cricket League (Division Three).

In 2011, the Afghanistan national team took part in the qualifying tournament for the Cricket World Cup, but they ultimately failed to qualify. However, it wasn't all too bad as they were given ODI status for the next four years. Their first ODI was against Scotland, and they went on to win the match by 89 runs. In February 2010, they played their first T20 international match ever against Ireland, which they ended up losing by 5 wickets. Three days later, they beat the UAE by 4 wickets to qualify for the Twenty20 World Cup that was to be held in the West Indies in April the same year. They were in a group with South Africa and India, but they ended up losing both games quite heavily. They didn't let this get them down and went on to win the Intercontinental Cup later on in the year, beating Scotland by 7 wickets.

They made their debut in the Cricket World Cup in 2015 and got to take on some of the best teams in the world. They managed to beat Scotland again, but went on to lose all of their remaining games. They also qualified for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, but they lost all of their 9 matches. However, they were quite unlucky not to get a win against India.

"Due to their undoubted improvement over the years, the ICC decided to award Afghanistan Full Member status on the 22nd June, 2017."

This meant that they were now able to playtest matches against other Full Member nations. They played their first test match against India in 2018 but went on to lose by an innings and 262 runs. In March, 2019, they played Ireland in a test match and won by 7 wickets. This made them only the third team in history (after Pakistan and England ) to win their second test match.

What Colours Do the Afghan Cricket Team Wear?

Teams wear different colours depending on the format being played. Learn more about their meaning here.

Test Cricket

Like all test-playing nations, they have to wear white when playing test cricket. When they are fielding, they wear red hats with the ACB logo on the front. When it is their time to bat, they wear a red helmet with the ACB logo on the front and the Afghanistan flag above it. The ACB logo can also be found on the left side of the t-shirt, while their sponsors can be found on the right side. The kit manufacturer’s sponsor can be found at the top of the left leg of their trousers.

ODI and T20 Cricket

In limited-overs cricket, they, like the India team, also use blue as their main choice of colour. It is believed that they chose blue as Afghanistan is the place where you can find Lapis Lazuli, a blue metamorphic rock that has been sough since antiquity due to its intense colour. What distinguishes their kit is the use of the national flag colours on the shoulders and down the side. Like all teams, they need a second kit just in case any clashes appear. Afghanistan’s second kit is half blue and half red. The number and name of every player is printed in white on the back of the shirts. The caps that they wear in limited over matches are red with the ACB logo in the centre. Like with their test kits, the ACB logo is on the left side of the t-shirt, the team’s sponsor is on the right side of the t-shirt as well as the left side of the trousers.

Afghanistan’s Best Team Members

Afghanistan has a number of talented players, who we will take a closer look at now.

Rashid Khan

Khan is just 21-years-old but he is already the Afghanistan captain. He is currently regarded as one of the best right-arm leg break bowlers in world cricket. In 68 ODI matches, he has picked up 131 wickets at an average of 17.80. These are very impressive figures, but he has even better ones in T20 internationals. He has played 41 matches and has picked up 79 wickets at average of 12.00. In the three test matches that he has played, he has picked up 20 wickets at an average of 18.00. To add to this, he is also very handy with the bat, having a top score of 51 in test cricket, 60* in ODI cricket, and 33 in T20 cricket.

Mohammad Shazad

Afghanistan’s wicket-keeper batsman currently leads the way as his country’s top scorer in ODIs. In 84 matches, he has scored 2,727 runs (6 centuries and 14 half-centuries) at a very respectable average of 33.66. When it comes to T20 matches, he has played 65 matches, scoring 1,936 runs (1 century and 12 half-centuries) at an average of 31.22. He has played in two of Afghanistan’s three test matches to date and scored 69 runs at an average of 17.25.

Hamid Hassan

You can’t miss him on the field as he stands head and shoulders above the rest of his teammates and always paints the Afghanistan flag on both of his cheeks. He is one of Afghanistan’s finest fast bowlers. In 36 ODI matches, he has taken 59 wickets at an average of 22.13. In 22 T20 matches, he has picked up 32 wickets at an average of just 16.34. He is yet to play a test match for his country.

How Have They Performed in World Cricket?

ICC Cricket World Cup

Year Round Position
2015 Grou Stage 12/14
2019 Group Stage 10/10

* They did not participate in the tournaments that took place before the ones above. This was because they either did not qualify or were not eligible as they were not a member of the ICC.

ICC T20 World Cup

Year RoundPosition
2010 1 12/12
2012 1 11/12
2014 1 14/16
2016 Super 10 9/16

*They did not qualify for the 2007 or 2009 tournaments.

Asian Games

Year Round Position
2010 Final (Runners-up) 2/9
2014 Final (Runners-up) 2/9

*There was no cricket at the 2018 Asian games as the sport was removed from the programme in order to cut costs.

Asia Cup

Year Round Position
2014 Group 4/5
2016 Qualifying 2/4
2018 Super 4 4/6

*They did not play in the tournaments that took place before the ones mentioned above. This was either because they did not qualify or because they were not yet members of the ICC.

ACC Twenty20 Cup

Year RoundPosition
2007 Joint Champions 1/10
2009 Champions 1/12
2011 Champions 1/10
2013 Champions 1/10

*They did not take part in the 2015 edition of this Tuesday.

How Have Afghanistan Fared Against Other Full Members?

ODI Performances

Opponent Matches Played Won Lost Tied No Result First Win
Australia 3 0 3 0 0
Bangladesh 8 3 5 0 0 1st March 2014
England 2 0 2 0 0
India 3 0 2 1 0
Ireland 26 13 13 0 1 17th January 2015
New Zealand 2 0 2 0 0
Pakistan 4 0 4 0 0
South Africa 1 0 1 0 0
Sri Lanka 2 1 3 0 0 17th September 2018
West Indies 6 3 2 0 1 9th June 2017
Zimbabwe 25 15 10 0 0 22nd July 2014

T20 Performances

Opponent Matches Played Won Lost Tied No Result First Win
Bangladesh 6 4 2 0 0 3rd June 2018
England 2 0 2 0 0
India 2 0 2 0 0
Ireland 15 12 3 0 0 9th February 2010
Pakistan 1 0 1 0 0
South Africa 2 0 2 0 0
Sri Lanka 1 0 1 0 0
West Indies 4 1 3 0 0 27th March 2016
Zimbabwe 9 8 1 0 0 26th October 2015

*They are yet to play against Australia in a T20 match.

How is the Afghanistan Cricket Team Currently Getting On?

The Afghanistan national team recently took part in the T20 Bangladesh Tri-Nations Series. They played Bangladesh and Zimbabwe twice, winning and losing two matches. They made it to the final to take on Bangladesh, but the match was abandoned due to intense rain. However, they gave a good account of themselves during the tournament. They also got their first test win against a top team when they beat Bangladesh by a whopping 224 runs on the 9th September. Rashid Khan was the star of the show as he took 11 wickets in the match.