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USA defeated by Afghanistan

Read about it here. Victorious Afghan Hamid Hassan blogs about it here:

After the match, I had to go to do a post-match media conference and they all wanted to know how it felt to beat USA, but the opposition didn’t matter to me. I was just happy to win another cricket match.

I love getting the chance to play against different countries and this was the first time we had ever played USA in an international match. I could never have dreamed when I was young, that I would one day play them in a cricket game.

I am a big fan of American television and movies and my favourite film is  Rocky  – I vividly remember watching it when I was growing up – and one of my heroes is Sylvester Stallone.

I think that there is a similarity in the story of Rocky and the Afghanistan cricket team – we both started at the bottom and gradually made our way up the rankings. …

Gradually? I thought Rocky did it with one fight.

Seriously though, it’s fun to see a guy so gripped by the American ideal of the common man excelling, and as a result … defeating America.

The way Hamid Hassan writes about Rocky and Silvester Stallone and so on makes me also think of this piece, about how the imminent decline into relative insignificance of the USA is once again being oversold, in which Joshua Kurlantzick says:

Most important, the United States is a champion of an idea that has global appeal, and Asia is not.

Although my part of the blogosphere is very anti-Obama just now, what with Obama seemingly hell-bent on ruining the USA’s economy, the rise of Obama to being President of the USA must look like a very similar kind of story to Rocky, if you are someone like Hamid Hassan.

25 comments to USA defeated by Afghanistan

  • jsallison

    Well done.

  • Nuke Gray

    Joshua was unfortunately wrong. The bureaucratic state is an idea with some appeal to African despots. China’s economic success is used as a model for one-party nations, like Zimbabwe.
    And now for something completely different-
    Happy Early Valentine’s day to the female commentators, Alice, Alisa, Natalie, Natasha, Verity, and any others. May you get enough chocolates to make you happy, but not enough to gain weight. I’ll send you all some air chocolate, right now!

  • RAB

    Nice try Nuke!
    You are obviously desperate to get laid, but I happen to know that at least two on that list only have eyes for me! 🙂

    Is it hard to beat Americans at cricket?

    Many years ago I heard a story about a yearly match of both cricket and baseball, played between the crews of British and American Nuclear Submarines.

    They would nudge their submarines up through the ice in the Arctic, find a bit of flat ice flow and play.

    Apparently the Brits have won every match, both cricket and Baseball since it’s inception.

    Seems Americans are taught to miss a ball hurtled at them 99 times out of a hundred, when we Brits just step up and give it a whack!

    Yes, running for cover now!

  • Laird

    Sorry, but I didn’t even know the US had a cricket team.

  • Brian, follower of Deornoth

    Have a look at this, Laird. The 1844 entry…


  • mac

    Afghans are pretty damned hard up for something to cheer about if this makes them so happy. However, I can’t say I’ve ever heard “Afghanistan” and Test Cricket mentioned in the same article, much less the same sentence, so I don’t think they’re a great cricketing nation. Indeed, the only issue where I’ve ever heard Afghans mentioned as being world-class performers had to do with bestiality involving goats…

  • Cricket is very big in Pakistan, of course, and given the porousness of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, it is hardly surprising the game has been spreading. (Of course, the recent performances of the Pakistan national team have been so dreadful that it is probably enough to drive them to drink despite prohibition, but that’s another story).

  • pollo

    You’re both wrong. Rocky actually loses his title fight in the first film.

  • Steven Rockwell

    I think I speak for all Americans when I say, “we have a national cricket team?”

  • Laird

    1844, huh, Brian? Before real games were invented?

    More seriously, someone here once posted (at my request) a description of the rules of cricket. Much as I appreciate the effort, frankly I found them incomprehensible. If someone knows of a simplified explanation of how the game is played I’d like to read it. (I tried to read the linked article in this post and was totally baffled. The words appear to be in English, but I couldn’t swear to it.)

  • ian

    “More seriously, someone here once posted (at my request) a description of the rules of cricket. Much as I appreciate the effort, frankly I found them incomprehensible.”

    I have much the same problem with baseball and that other game Americans persist in calling football. I sort of understand what is going on when I watch, (I did play rounders as a child after all) but get completely lost when someone starts to explain it.

  • pat

    It’s important to note that in this tournament USA fielded a team comprised entirely of players born abroad.

    Hamid Hassan, incidentally, once played at Lord’s and is one of the most gifted bowlers outside the Test nations.

  • ian

    Laird – were these the rules?

    “You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out. When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game! ”

  • Alsadius

    Laird, I never found cricket to be too bad to understand. I’m assuming you understand baseball, yes? Apply the following modifications:

    1) 11 fielders and an 11-man lineup, not 9.
    2) No foul territory.
    3) No forced running. The batter can stay at home if he likes.
    4) A home run is worth 6 runs, a ground-rule double is 4.
    5) There’s only 2 bases, not 4, and they’re always loaded.
    6) When a runner scores, he stays on the bases and can keep running. Each time a runner gets “home”, it’s a run, and this can happen multiple times on a play. When the runners stop running, whichever one is at home is the batter for the next play.
    7) The strike zone is a physical structure, not an imaginary area, and the ball breaking it apart on a pitch is a “strike”, even if the ball has hit the ground first. One “strike” and you’re out.
    8) No limit on balls, or “fouled-off” pitches(remember, not actually fouls, just hits you choose not to run on).
    9) The runners stay on the field until they’re put out. If someone is put out, the next man on the lineup replaces them.
    10) Ten outs per inning, not three(when 10 men are out, you don’t have two runners any more). Two innings, not 9. No extra innings.

    I’m no expert(hell, I’ve never even watched a cricket game), so I might have made a mistake there, but I’m pretty sure that’s all the basic rules. There’s obviously more complex ones, but with that level of understanding I’ve never had trouble following the random cricket postings on Samizdata.

    And Ian, just take what I wrote above and reverse it 😉

  • We have a cricket team? Whatever for?

  • Paul Marks

    “Look like like it” perhaps Brain – but, in reality, it was the exact opposite.

    Barack Obama came from Hawaii (brought up in comfort by the wealth of his bank director grandmother – the “typical white person” he slandered in the campaign, when he needed to throw someone under the bus, whilst saying how much he “loved” her).

    Then it was on to Occidential, then Columbia, then a comfortable agitprop “community organizer” postion, then Harvard, then back to “community” work (and a position at Chicago).

    Then an uncontested run for State Legislature (all other candidates struck off the ballot) then U.S. Senate – with Ryan destroyed by the media (using marriage stories) and the media also giving Obama cult like support – right from 2004 to now.

    Never a tough life, never working in a menial job.

    Never doing anything without the support of the media – and without the support of vast financial resources given (voluntarily or via veiled threats from his Comrades) from the leading corporations.

    A story LESS like Rocky from the back streets of Philadelphia it would be hard to think of.

    No struggle against harsh circumstances (either poverty or being tortured for years in a POW campaign) no beating the odds – of having less money and facing a media machine backing the other side.

    Just comfort, elite universities and everything handed to you on a plate – that is the life of Barack Obama.

    That is his strength – but also his weakness (as others spotted long before I did).

    Why did he not do what Mark Lloyd (appointed to the FCC) and the other comrades adviced him to do at once?

    Why did he not exterminate all dissent?

    Moral reasons? Of course not.

    It was FEAR.

    Barack Obama has never had to fight and has never faced hardship – the possibility of a serious confrontation unnerved him. Besides his enemies would all vanish in a puff of pink smoke – because he was so popular and everyone loved him, or would learn to love him…..

    So no need to risk himself.

    As for the American ideal – it is the ideal of Western Civilization, the ideal of personal freedom based on private property rights.

    This is indeed the ideal Barack Obama has been taught to oppose his whole life (by his mother and by Frank Marshall Davis – long before he ever went to the elite universities) – something that he is has (again since his most early childhood) been told (endlessly) he is destined to destroy.

    However, I have come to believe that Barack Obama is not quite as dangerious an enemy as I had once supposed.

    Certainly he knows the Saul Alinsky doctrine “when in trouble ATTACK – push on more fronts and push harder” but there is something oddly bloodless and passionless about him.

    I suspect he values his comforts and would not risk them.

    In short – he lacks courage.

  • Paul Marks

    A politician like Rocky?

    McCain in his recovery from the years of torture in the POW camp?

    Sarah Palin – if she comes back from the tidal wave of media abuse and lies that have been thrown at her for almost two years?

    No politician really fits the bill.

    But certainly Obama is as far from it as it is possible to be.

    He is not Apollo Creed either.

    If he was a boxer, in each fight his foe would be set upon by the media (and by the backers of the fight) and beaten to a pulp – so that he never had to fight them.

    All he would be required to do would be to stand in the ring and blow kisses to the (HAND PICKED) crowd whilst making a speech (full of words tested by focus groups) and listening to the shouts of joy – whilst the media said his words were the wisest ever spoken and he was the greatest man in history.

    Indeed “more than a man……”

    Of course if this person ever really had to face a man in the ring ON HIS OWN – well then he might find his gym body (almost as “toned” as that of his wife) is not enough on its own to win a fight.

    Can he take a punch?

    How about a few fights when he finds his urine is red the following morning?

    How about the risk of long lasting pain – or damage that can not be reversed?

    It would be interesting to find out just how much “heart” Barack Obama has.

  • Two, RAB? Two?! Who is she? Tell me now, before I begin eliminating them all, one by one???!!!

    Um, sorry,….meant to say “thank you Nuke dear”…

  • Laird

    Alsadius, that’s the best summary I have seen (assuming, of course, that it is accurate!). Thanks.

    ian, that’s a little more succinct than the version I recall reading, but certainly captures the gist of it!

    “However, I have come to believe that Barack Obama is not quite as dangerious an enemy as I had once supposed. Certainly he knows the Saul Alinsky doctrine “when in trouble ATTACK – push on more fronts and push harder” but there is something oddly bloodless and passionless about him.” Perceptive comment, Paul. Over at Bloomberg.com commentator David Reilly has offered Obama some advice. While I certainly hope he doesn’t have the wit to accept it, if I were in Obama’s camp I would tell him that Reilly is spot on. This next year should prove interesting.

  • Nuke Gray

    Re. Cricket, I like the comment attributed to an Indian- ‘The British invented cricket so they would know what God meant by eternity!’

  • Doc

    Two points about cricket that seem important to me.

    After five days of play, it can end with no winner.

    All the matches in a series are played, even if one side has won. Down four nil in the Ashes? Let’s see how that fifth test plays out!

    This seems like the key to understanding cricket.

  • RAB

    Ah dearest Alisa.
    So our secret is finally out!

    I was going to suggest Verity as a cover. Well all the ding dongs we used to have in the old days…

    You only hurt the one you love eh? Tee Hee!

  • Nuke Gray

    Dear Alisa, thanks. Hope you enjoyed all that chocolate! Let’s hope RAB never finds out….

  • RAB

    Och away home and get yer acne sorted young Nuke, and yer mammy needs yer boots for loaf tins!

    Same time next week dearest? 🙂