Afghan cricket players at the U-19 Elite Cup (Pajhwak Afghan News)
August 27, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Afghanistan's under-19 cricket team has reached the final of an international tournament for the first time in its history.
The Afghan cricketers beat the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a semifinal match today in Kuala Lumpur, paving the way to the Asian Cricket Council's U-19 Elite Cup.
Shortly after the match, the Afghan team's coach, Taj Malik, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that it was a tough match, but the young players pulled through to beat the UAE team.
Afghanistan will face Nepal in the final.
Cricket was not widespread in Afghanistan until early 2002, when Afghan refugees who had spent years in Pakistan brought their love for the game back home.