Thursday, February 4, 2010


February 11, 2010: it's going to be an interesting day for cricket. I know that India v South Africa First Test gets over on 10th and a New Zealand - Bangladesh ODI hardly qualifies as interesting.

Well, it's not going to be interesting in the conventional sense. It's going to be an interesting day because Afghanistan take on the United States of America at Dubai in the World T20 Qualifiers Tournament. This tournament will decide which associate nations will take part in the World T20 Championship to be held in the Caribbean Islands in June this year.

If you are still wondering what's so interesting about this match (I hope not!), then let me remind you that USA (or rather George W. Bush) had, in the not so distant past, declared a war on Afghanistan in its fight against terrorism. I guess that I would be right in presuming that many of Afghanistan's cricketers might have lost their near and dear ones as a direct result of that war. The scars have certainly not faded. They will be keen and desperate to get the better of USA on the cricket field.

I know that this rivalry does not match the hype and passion generated by an Indo - Pak or an Ashes contest, but its going to be a heated battle nonetheless. Afghanistan are on a roll, and are being regarded as the most improved Associate side during the last year. USA, on the other hand, has failed to live up to the initial promise shown by them. However, they will have the advantage of having Lennox Cush in their team. Lennox Cush, incidentally, played a part in the infamous Stanford Superstars versus England match, and so will have some experience of top - flight cricket behind him.

I doubt this match will generate a lot of crowd (scheduled to start at 10:00 am on a weekday), but Afghanistan can expect the support of whatever little Dubai crowd gathers at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

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