Afghan Youth Cricket Association are competing in a T20 club competition in Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial capital. The tournament has been running since 20 August and it finishes on 6 September.
The ‘Dr. M.A. Shah Lephone Night Trophy’ is the tournament’s name, and it’s contested among 16 teams. AYCA are joined mostly by Karachi club sides, as well as a team from Hong Kong.
AYCA has received assistance from the Afghanistan Cricket Board and sponsorship from Etisalat Afghanistan, says the ACB. The ACB has provided the AYCA squad with 9 players from the current nation team while two more players (Badshah Hussain and Shafiqullah Shafaq) have also played with the national team at different occasions. Nawroz Mangal, Noor Ali and Karim Sadiq are the only notable names missing from the actual Afghanistan national side.
The tournament organizers say “the winning team will receive Suzuki also car, while Suzuki Mehran will be given to runner-up team, besides all man of the matches will receive motor cycles.”
Unfortunately, AYCA lost their first match last night by 3 wickets with 2 balls spare against Kornagi Al-Fatah . A poor batting display left the AYCA bowlers with too much to do, though they weren’t helped by questionable umpiring and lots of misfields.
Taimur Sikander, in his Dawn blog, explained the unprofessional umpiring:
But then came the defining moment. It can be called incompetence or a lack of professionalism while some might judge the situation with a little suspicion. With Hassan bowling his accurate fuller deliveries it seemed a wicket was on the cards at any moment as the batsmen looked for quick runs. 11 to win from 8 balls, Hassan traps the opposition skipper Malik Aftab Alam plumb in front. The umpires says not out and the ball runs away to the fine leg boundary. The batsman take a double of the last ball and Korangi all of a sudden require 5 from the final over. Now the umpire does something which was dimwit-ish to say the least. With two to win from three balls, the batsman taps the ball to mid-off, the fielder runs in and aims but finds the umpire in his way. The umpire, instead of running to the other side of the wicket to take his position in the potential run out situation had actually run directly in the line of sight of the fielder who had to hold his throw back until he found space around the umpire’s body. The throw obviously missed the stumps as Korangi stole another run and won the match. Sad, in more ways than one. Who’s certifying these umpires and what are the doing in the well-intentioned but according to me a poorly organised club tournament?
Shortthirdman, as he is known, has been closely following Afghanistan cricket since April 2009. He also has a blog, called Short Third Man, which is about all things cricket.