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.