I heard on my drive in to work this morning that Afghanistan have been very competitive in the ICC World cricket league and aiming to get up into the qualifiers of the next world cup!
What a turn out that would be! A country in a state of turmoil, conflict and constant combat, making in roads into such a large world sporting event.
I've had a good read of the involvement and structure of these ICC competitions and i must admit it looks like they (ICC) are doing their best to really develop this second and third tier of the game.
One thought i had was, why doesn't the bottom (2) teams of the top competition spend more time playing the next level down? It is blatantly clear that Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are having their spirits crushed playing at this level, so why is there clear delineation between them and the next level down?
Surely teams such as the Netherlands (top of Div 2 table), Canada, Scotland and Ireland would get a lot out of playing Zimbabwe and Bangladesh more regularly, as well as these two teams getting a much needed moral boasts from a few wins! I'm sure we would see less of a gulf between the top of Div 2 and the bottom of Div 1 than we currently see between the more competitive test nations and Bangladesh and Zimbabwe!
It is good to see that they are playing each other at the moment (instead of boasting Sri Lankas stocks again...and again!) and i hope more of this continues. At least one team will accumulate some points from the encounter.