England vs Afghanistan: The underdog’s World Cup victory is a victory for India – here’s why

Afghanistan achieved a spectacular victory against defending champions England by a margin of 69 runs. The triumph is only Afghanistan’s second victory in World Cup history, but its impact is far-reaching.

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

However, a significant change came when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) intervened and gave the young team the crucial support it needed to escalate its game.

Thanks to BCCI’s initiative, the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida became the alternate home stadium for the Afghanistan team from 2015. According to PTI, they shifted their base from Sharjah and even played home international games against Ireland in this Indian city. Afghanistan also “hosted” a T20 series against Bangladesh in Dehradun, India.

India’s role in the rise of cricket in Afghanistan has been crucial and goes beyond providing venues and facilities. Former Indian cricketers like Lalchand Rajput and Manoj Prabhakar contributed their expertise and acted as coaches for the Afghanistan team. Furthermore, the BCCI went a step further and invited the then Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Bengaluru to attend Afghanistan’s first Test match.

Afghanistan has now reached test status. The team’s participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has also contributed to the popularization of the sport at 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 Afghan cricket team. This was not the first time that the Indian daily giant had supported a Cricket World Cup team; they had previously supported New Zealand and the Netherlands.

Fast forward to 2023, and the relationship remains intact. Amul, a company that has been exporting milk powder and baby formula to Afghanistan for two decades, continues to sponsor the Afghan cricket team.

(With PTI inputs)

“Exciting news! Mint is now on WhatsApp channels 🚀 Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest financial insights!” Click here!

Sybil Alvarez

"Incurable gamer. Infuriatingly humble coffee specialist. Professional music advocate."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *