The Afghan Ashes
1 December 2013
The Afghan Ashes is building relationships between the Afghan National Army and their Coalition Force advisors.
On 21 November, while the Australian test cricket side kicked off the Ashes series in Brisbane, the Australian led 205 Coalition Advisory Team tested their cricket skills against the Afghan National Army 205 Corps team.
The 205 Coalition Advisory Team was not quite as successful as the Aussie test side however, the match served a higher purpose of building camaraderie between Coalition and Afghan National Army forces.
Colonel Shah Wali, the Afghan National Army 205 Corps Religious Cultural Affairs Officer said that sport and cricket will help bring peace in Afghanistan.
“This friendship game will help to build relationships between the Afghan National Army and the coalition” he said.
Warrant Officer 2 Corey Dickson, Australian advisor, organised the friendly match with the Afghan National Army sports officer and helped turn the Corps’ concrete parade ground into a makeshift cricket pitch. Security was also a consideration with International Security Assistance Force and Afghan National Army VIPs turning out to cheer on their sides.
Before the match, the Afghan National Army 205 Corps’ team captain, Sergeant Zabiullah Shinwan explained that his team is the best of the five Corps teams.
”We train together six days a week,” he said. He urged his team to try hard but reminded them that it was a friendly game.
Despite being the clear underdog, the 205 Coalition Advisory Team (which included two US advisors who received a baseball to cricket conversion lesson in the week leading up to the match), put in a very respectable performance.
“In reply to the Afghan National Army’s 4/169, the 205 Coalition Advisory Team scored 8/113, which was actually much better than we had hoped for,” said Team Captain Lieutenant Colonel Matt Flanagan who is the Operations advisor.
“Lieutenant Dan Solomon’s 53 runs certainly helped us out.”
Colonel Joel Dooley, 205 Coalition Advisory Team Command described the event as “a great success and an enjoyable afternoon spent with our Afghan counterparts.
“We look forward to the next one!”