England vs Afghanistan: A World Cup win for the underdog is a victory for India – here’s why – Magazine Creations

Afghanistan registered an impressive win over defending champions England by 69 runs. This victory is the second victory for Afghanistan in the history of the World Cup, but its effects are far-reaching.

For many years, the Afghan cricket team struggled for recognition and resources, training in Pakistan during its early years and sometimes even playing ball in refugee camps. Their entry into T20 and ODI cricket came against Pakistan, their neighboring cricket powerhouse.

However, a major turnaround came when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stepped in, providing the emerging team with the crucial support needed to step up their game.

The Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida has become an alternative stadium for the Afghanistan national team from 2015 onwards, thanks to a BCCI initiative. They moved their base from Sharjah and even played home international matches against Ireland in this Indian city, according to PTI. Afghanistan also “hosted” the T20 series against Bangladesh in Dehradun, India.

India’s role in the rise of cricket in Afghanistan has been pivotal and goes beyond just providing stadiums and facilities. Former Indian cricketers like Lalchand Rajput and Manoj Prabhakar have lent their expertise, serving as coaches for the Afghan team. Moreover, BCCI went further, inviting the then Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Bengaluru to watch Afghanistan’s opening Test match.

Afghanistan has now achieved test status. The team’s participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) also played a role in popularizing the sport back home. Afghanistan has regularly expressed its gratitude and acknowledged India’s significant contribution to its cricket journey.

Amul sponsors the Afghan cricket team

For the 2019 ICC World Cup, Amul took on the role of the main sponsor of the Afghanistan cricket team. This was not the first time the Indian giant had supported a cricket team in a World Cup. They have previously supported New Zealand and the Netherlands.

Fast forward to 2023, and the relationship continues. Amul, a company with a two-decade history of exporting milk powder and baby food to Afghanistan, continues to sponsor the Afghan cricket team.

(with PTI inputs)

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Updated: October 16, 2023, 12:01 PM IST


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