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Tea Leaves

Afghanistan's 'can-do' journey from civil war to green oval

Country's rise in world cricket ranks lifts national pride

Afghanistan's Gulbadin Naib in action in the team's Cricket World Cup match against England in Manchester, the U.K., on June 18   © Action Images/Reuters

A remarkable story of national pride is reaching its apotheosis on the cricket fields of England as Afghanistan's national team takes its place among the 10 countries competing in the 12th edition of the one-day Cricket World Cup, one of the world's most-watched international sporting events.

Like other contenders in the quadrennial tournament, which runs from May 30 to July 14, they have brought with them a bag of tricks, particularly in the beguiling art of spin bowling, and fans watching at home are reveling in the moment.

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