A minnow bites the whales

I know all you cricket fans must be disappointed by the lack of posts recently on this topic. Well, the big news is about Afghanistan, that country that is wracked by violence aggravated, if not caused, by decades of interference in its internal affairs by outsiders. Currently the Asia Cup is underway to which six countries were invited. The format consisted of creating two groups of three countries for the first round. Within which group, each team would play the other two with the top two teams going to the next round.

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan were placed in one group and India, Pakistan, and Hong Kong in the other. It was clear that the organizers saw the first round as eliminating Afghanistan and Hong Kong, the ‘minnows’ (as the weak teams are condescendingly called) so that the remaining four ‘real’ teams would play for the title.

Well that plan went agley very soon because Afghanistan absolutely crushed Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to actually win their group, in the process eliminating Sri Lanka from the tournament. In the other group, things went more according to plan and Hong Kong was eliminated though they put up a spirited fight against top seed India and almost managed to pull off what would have been a sensational upset. Afghanistan’s ace-in-the-hole is their young leg break/googly bowler Rashid Khan who at age 20 has already made his mark on the cricket scene.

So well done Afghanistan! Let’s hope you do the improbable and go on to win the tournament. It is always fun to see the underdogs win and is good for the ‘real’ teams to get a lesson in humility.


  1. DonDueed says

    Decades of foreign interference? More like millennia.

    Why does Hong Kong get treated as a separate country in this tourney?

  2. deepak shetty says

    So well done Afghanistan! Let’s hope you do the improbable and go on to win the tournament.

    +1. In with a chance today (a little more experience and they probably would be winning)

  3. Mano Singham says

    DonDueed @#1,

    Hong Kong was admitted as an associate member (i.e., not full Test status) of the International Cricket Council in 1969, before it became part of China. I think the Chinese government has allowed Cricket Hong Kong (the local governing body) to continue as an autonomous unit.

    Cricket in China is apparently gaining popularity and there were rumors that if it became an Olympic sport, China would go all in to support it. But the ICC has been reluctant to push for Olympic inclusion.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    Cricket’s grasp of geography is… loose. “The West Indies” is a side from several countries and “England” technically includes Wales, but not Scotland or Northern Ireland… sort of.

  5. rjw1 says

    @1 DonDueed,

    Agreed. The Afghans usually get rid of the interfering foreigners, sooner or later.

    Even the famous Alexander the Great wasn’t so great in Afghanistan.

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