This photo was part of Tricky wicket, a feature story by Claire Stewart in Good Weekend magazine on April 5 2014 about cricket in Afghanistan. The well-rugged up scoreboard attendant is keeping his eye on a Twenty20 match last January in Jalalabad between Afghanistan “A” and Tajikistan, a game which drew a crowd of 20,000 men.
‘In war-ravaged Afghanistan, cricket has become one of the country’s most popular pastimes,’ wrote Stewart. ‘Even the Taliban approve – as long as you’re a man….The meteoric rise of the national cricket team has not been without its hiccups. The game’s popularity has only taken hold in the past few years, and still fights a perception problem that it is too closely linked to Pakistan.”
Afghanistan will be playing in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February 2015. Its Group A opponents will include Australia and England.
Andrew Quilty is an award-winning photographer whose work has been published around the world, including in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The Times, Le Monde, Art & Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age. The Australian Financial Review, The Big Issue and Photofile.