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The cricketisation of politics

February 18, 2013

By Tim Foxley

 Summary:  Ask the Taliban about cricket.  Little by little we could get them away from conflict and on to something more interesting (or at least less dangerous)…

It just occurs to me that it would be interesting to approach the Taliban spokesmen and ask them what their views of cricket for Afghanistan is.

Mumbai:  Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) officials have sought support from the BCCI for development of the sport in their war-torn country.  The officials held a meeting with the BCCI officials on Sunday and discussed various issues such as coaching, umpiring and scoring.

Look - a successful transition!

Look – a successful transition!

This would be an interesting test of the way they communicate ideas and values.  Yes, of course they might not answer, but at least it might get them thinking about other things for a bit.  It would help to ascertain the level to which they might have shifted from the very extreme interpretations of social life that they held in the 1990s – these days they do give at least some indications that they recognise “mistakes were made” in their approaches to society and governance.  It might also be a minor way of dragging them away from the language of conflict.

CRICKET grounds are among the safest places in war-torn Afghanistan, the media manager for the country’s under-19 team said yesterday.  “The Taliban love cricket,” said the Australian, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons.  He said more than 100,000 played the game in Afghanistan.  And that, surprisingly, included girls’ teams playing other girls at interschool level.  He was speaking as 20 of Afghanistan’s best young players prepared on the Sunshine Coast for the under-19 cricket World Cup, to begin in Brisbane next week.  Until then, the team is cloistered, training in Caloundra.

“The Taliban have gone to great lengths to point out that they were the ones to apply for Afghanistan to enter international competition before the US invaded,” the manager, who was born in Adelaide and has lived in Kabul for five years, said.

Looking forward to the Northern Alliance XI vs Quetta Shura XI three day…

Oh, and then ask them why kite flying was so bad…

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