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Afghanistan faces the first test

Buskashi is an Afghani game, akin to polo, that involves riding, sticks and the carcass of a goat. The carcass is soaked in cold water for twenty-four hours, so that it does not disintegrate, and then a large pack of horsemen compete to win the boz (renamed carcass) and the horsemen (chopendoz) compete to grab the carcass and throw it in a circle (the hallal).

This Afghani sport will not win any votes from animal lovers, but their fierce competitiveness has now blooded another arena: cricket. Refugees in Pakistan whiled away the long hours by learning to love cricket and have now brought the sport back to Afghanistan. Each province has a team and there are strong competitions to determine the best teams.

We know that the best team is not the Royal Marines, who emulated our Ashes tour:

ENGLAND’S cricket shame plunged new depths after a team of Royal Marines were hammered – by the Afghan National Army.

The crack soldiers crashed to a resounding eight wicket defeat after being bowled out for just 56 in 14 overs without one playing reaching double figures.

Afghans have only been playing the game since about 1992 but that did not stop the novice opponents knocking off the runs inside 12 overs

Are we seeing the birth of a new Test playing nation? I can think of no greater accolade to symbolise the departure of a country from misery and despair. We should be glad that the military skills of the Royal Marines far outweigh their cricketing skills.

6 comments to Afghanistan faces the first test

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Yes, I guess it does make an Englishman like me feel better to know that by inventing most of the world’s great teamsports, and subsequently being crap at them for long periods of time, we are projecting a benign order around the world. Seriously, though, if Afghan civil socieity has reached the point where games are being played regularly, that is a magnificent poke in the eye to the sort of maniacs who used to ban kids from flying kites.

    Think about that – some of these islamist actually thought that kids playing with toys was somehow impure and disrespectful to The Man. It makes me realise that at the extremes, there is not much difference between religious fundamentalism and mental illness.

  • Chris Harper

    Refugees in Pakistan whiled away the long hours by learning to love cricket and have now brought the sport back to Afghanistan.


    It has been popular since Imperial days. The Afghans have loved both Britains national sports (war and cricket) for generations. Every time we competed they beat us in the first and consistently lost in the latter.

  • David Crawford

    Once the Afghan’s get a national team up and running perhaps England could send its national team to play them. Maybe call it the Bashes or Mashes, or such. Play it on a bi-annual basis.

    Nah, England would just end up getting beat five tests to nil or so.

  • Just be thankful the Afghans didn’t take up rugby…

  • RAB

    Well quite.
    What an RPG could do for a driving maul!

  • Andrew Kinsman

    Did the Afghans have Chung (faithful companion of the Wolf of Kabul) with his mystical weapon Clicky-Ba high in the batting order? “Clicky-Ba will crack many skulls today, master”,