March 6th, 2010
09:34 AM ET

Photo spotlight: Cricket fever

Cricket teams swing into action at the Behsood Cricket Ground in Jalalabad as an eight-day tournament wraps up this weekend. Afghan youth have been increasingly taking up the sport in this part of Afghanistan since Afghanistan defeated the U.S. team last month to qualify for the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup (to be held over April and May in the West Indies).

In Jalalabad’s markets, an unexpected rise in the sale of cricket gear has come as a windfall, earning shopkeepers huge profits, thanks to Afghanistan’s cricket-frenzied youth. The Jalalabad tournament was organized in part to raise public awareness against narcotics. (Photo by Hamdullah Arbab  of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan)

Filed under: Life and Culture • Photo Spotlight
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Abdullah

    Very good initiative and should work more on awareness as Afghanistan comes one of the top drug production country.
    Nice photo and thanks to CNN and UNAMA.

    April 14, 2010 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tariq hussain khail

    Soon Afghan player Inshallah win the World cup

    April 1, 2010 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. john

    criket has been in afghan and very popular there since before well before we ever went there. and criket gear has been sold in Jalabad and Asadabad since i was there in 04

    March 16, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JC

    Positive...Very Positive.

    I'm all for all sports... the productive not the war.. destructive.

    In AFG, if people or police can grow opium likes grow tobacco leaves (it's a herb origin), we should let it alone.

    AFG people or farmers will compare which one make better profit for them!

    All we should do is help AFG into the right way to compete the drug business.

    Open all the doors & windows for the AFG people to choose.

    March 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jenboy

    Jason you may not know much about the US cricket team today but the direction in which the economy is heading, you may end up asking, "There's a country called U.S.?

    March 15, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kunal

    Its funny to see Amercans describing cricket as a boring game.
    Cant even began comparing cricket with baseball.
    Had the opportunity to attend a game between Red Sox and the A's. Totally insipid.
    American cockiness at its best when it calls World Series and Super Bowl as world championships. Agreed that only a handful of nations play cricket, but still more the number playing baseball or American football.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Aakash

    Let's use this as an initiative to stop war and create healthy relationships between the two countries. I cannot help but imagine the wonderful prospects of this game and its future in Afghanistan. We should encourage more cricket matches between Afghanistan and USA. This might lead to a change in the hearts of the citizens of Afghanistan who currently misunderstand the involvement of USA in the country's social and political matters and join terrorist groups in search of retaliation devices.

    March 12, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. blacktar

    one in four AFG police use heroin.

    March 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Paul Varia

    US Cricket team played baseball rather than Cricket. They were running for the second base when the Afghan players made them run out. That's why they lost.

    March 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |

    A lot of matches between Pakistan and other teams will now be played in USA.

    This arrangement has been made between PCB and the American Cricket Board.

    March 11, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. Roy

    Less war and more cricket/sports. I am all for it


    March 11, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Anna

    Cricket is big in South frica to...I am from SA
    Living in NM I did not know that they play cricket here....
    Its very good for the young people to get involved in any kind of sports...
    I wish them well....


    March 11, 2010 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. Srinivas Mantripragada

    So glad to know that the great game of cricket is being played and embraced with cheer, in Afghanistan. Indian subcontinent comprising India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are such followers of this game. Sincerely hope and wish that Afghanistan joins the bandwagon too.

    Wonder how US team bowled their overs, cricketing style or baseball style pitching?

    March 10, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Shubs

    Most Americans base their (non-)opinion on cricket on grainy black and white video footage of scrawny englishmen in long sleeves and flannel trousers playing the game in the 1800s. This is the only footage American media seems to have, or perhaps it's the only one that plays up to the stereotype among American viewers. They have no clue what the modern sport is about, its speed, skill and thrills. Frankly, ANYONE who has watched modern cricket will doze off in a baseball game in the first 10 mins. 'Baseball on Prozac' indeed...:-) Mr Williams certainly didn't stray far from his target audience's knowledge levels.

    March 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rocky

    it will be great to see them play against the best teams, but they have come far as a country and a team. good luck guys.

    March 10, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  16. Chris, England

    For those in the USA who are unaware that you have a cricket team, the USA played the first international game of cricket in 1844, I believe, against Canada. The fixture still exists.

    Robin Williams' comments about baseball and prozac essentially refers to Test Cricket, where a game can last five days and still there is no result.

    Twenty/20 is entirely different. A game takes three hours. Each team faces a maximum of 120 balls bowled against them from at least five different bowlers.

    Sixes, the equivalent of a home run are commonplace, with as many as 17 in some games.

    The ball is bowled at over 80 mph. If it hits the batsman he does not get a walk to first base, he gets up and faces the next delivery and hopes that doesn't hit him a second time.

    Not baseball on prozac, more like basball on speed.

    lPosted by Chris – England.

    March 10, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  17. Sameer

    For the people who consider NBA, NFL, STANLEY CUP etc as world championships, should not come as a surprise that they are unaware of cricket in USA !!

    March 10, 2010 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
  18. daAfghan

    @ Alvryn: Cricket = Baseball on Prozac. This is funny, very funny. 🙂

    March 10, 2010 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  19. az

    Robin Williams probably hasnt seen the new T20 cricket.. It is faster than lot of games we watch here like nba, mlb or nfl which have tons of commercial breaks..

    March 9, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Alvryn-UK

    Robin Williams described cricket perfectly
    "Baseball on Prozac"

    March 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Raj

    For Afghan boys as of now Cricket the Gentleman's game is more fair and good n exciting, compared to soccer which is more violent and rough for their condition both for the crowd and players, i guess they already had enough rugby like games with their previous dictators.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  22. Sunny

    Yes, there's a US cricket team & the fact that the Afghani team beat them speaks volumes about them.
    Way to go!

    March 9, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  23. Sam O.

    U.S. cricket team???? Must be made up of all south asians... the average American has no idea of what cricket is: "it's like baseball, but different" - LOL

    March 9, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  24. CornellR

    What an uplifting tale. And lol....I'm with you Jason B......I didn't know the US has a cricket team.

    March 9, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  25. Jason B.

    There's a U.S. cricket team?

    March 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  26. dan ramirez

    thank God the youth didn't pick american baseball, with major league baseball being the mother of all steroid use. anyhow, look out Brits., here come the Afgan yourth!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  27. mike

    great story – good news for a chance but really not important to report. the min the Talib return they will ban it.

    March 8, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  28. khalilullah

    im really happy about cricket team.i hope its going forward.the team is so strong like australia and england.and pray for afghanistan team.and why not come football team.

    March 8, 2010 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  29. Fary Moini

    That is the best way to engage the young generation and I hope we will assist them to have more GYM in every school and in particular universities around the country.
    It is so important to start to have female involvement in sport as well in near future.

    March 7, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Bryan

    I am not much of a cricket fan but this is great news. More sport, less war. I hope the afghan team is successful at the world cup. The best thing to happen to afghanistan in a very long time would be for them to win, or at least have a strong showing at this tournament.

    March 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Piers

    Great stuff! We need more sport and no war! What a fantastic game cricket is! I don't like cricket I love it!

    March 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Wade Ens: How about the soccer

    Soccer is also very popular so in years to come they could be a force. Afgan woman now also play sports at school.

    March 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Steve

    Yes drugs are what this war is really about. Would be amazing if it could produce another cricketing nation. Who would have ever thought. Cricket forever. I just dont want to know about this war.

    March 7, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  34. Hamdullah ARBAB

    T20 Cricket Tournament: “Cricket Against Narcotics” Launched in Jalalabad
    Saturday, February 27, 2010 – Jalalabad: Youth in Action Association (YIAA) in collaboration with Afghanistan Municipality Strengthening Program (AMSP) launched T20 Cricket Tournament against narcotics to raise public awareness on narcotics and to raise youth voices against narcotics in the eastern region of Afghanistan. The theme of the tournament is “Cricket Against Narcotics” and “Fighting Narcotics Through Sports.” YIAA Eastern Region Cricket Team beat Eastern Region Cricket Academy Team by 38 runs. Playing first, Team YIAA scored 180 for 4 wickets. In reply, the Team Academy was bowled out for 142 only. Awais Ahmad, from Team YIAA, was declared Man of the Match for his excellent display of powerful batting making 89 runs including 4 sixes and 11 fours.
    Awareness raising messages will be delivered throughout the tournament covering topics such as bad effects of narcotics on personal and social life; dangerous consequences of drug abuse on the life of the society; religious ban on narcotics; use of sport as an alternative pleasure activity; and role of youth in fighting cultivation, trafficking and use of narcotics. Four teams of 15 players each are participating in the eight-day tournament. The four teams include: Team YIAA, Team Ghawchako, Team Etehad and Team Cricket Academy.
    Speaking at the opening event, Mr. Sayed Ikram Afzali, YIAA President, emphasized the role of youth in fighting social ills such as substance abuse and narco-business. He added that sports such as Cricket can play an important role in personal and social development of youth. Mr. Saad Malook Sherzad, AMSP Manager, also emphasized the role of youth in the society. A large number of people including players, youth leaders, government representatives, and children were present during the opening ceremony.
    Youth in Action Association (YIAA) is a non-profit youth-led association dedicated to enhance peace and sustainable development in Afghanistan. Our mission is to pursue youth policy advocacy, sustainable employment generation, civic education, environmental protection and peace through youth empowerment, participation and capacity development using the power of sport, volunteerism, media and fine arts.

    March 7, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |