While cricket was being played in Afghanistan since 19th century, they were only able to gain recognition in this century. Although the Afghan Cricket Board was formed in 1995. However, Afghanistan Cricket Team managed to secure the test status only in 2017.
Interestingly, Afghanistan Cricket Team are current record holder for the highest ever total against Ireland (278/3) in T20 International cricket. If we talk about their first test, then they played it against India in June 2018 in Bangalore. While if we talk about their first ever ODI match, then it was played up against Scotland on April 19th, 2009.
Cricket in Afghanistan became popular because Afghan refugees loved the game while residing in Pakistan. They continued playing the game after their return to their home country. The sad part is that Taliban had banned all sports including cricket.
Taliban meanwhile gave its approval to cricket as a sport in the year 2000. Most of the players who play for the Afghan team were those who lived in refugee camps in Pakistan. Their most significant achievement was qualifying for the ICC cricket World Cup of 2015. They also managed to win a match against the Scottish cricket team. But unfortunately, they lost all their other matches and were thrown out of the tournament.
The most well-known cricketer till date is Rashid Khan. He is a spinner who has proved his mettle in a variety of overseas leagues like the IPL (Indian Premier League) and the Big Bash League. He performed so well that he was awarded the award for ICC T20 Player of the decade.
The Afghan cricket board also recently announced the construction of a brand-new stadium in the Afghan capital city Kabul. The land for this has been allotted by the Afghan President and construction will be starting real soon.
Hopefully, we will see Afghan cricket team excelling in this sport.