How cricket's Test nations fared on their debuts

The Irish will certainly hope to avoid the fate of New Zealand, who took 26 years to win their first Test match. (AFP)
Updated 10 May 2018
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How cricket's Test nations fared on their debuts

  • Ireland will become just the 11th nation to play men's Test cricket
  • New Zealand took 26 years to win their first Test match

DUBLIN: Ireland will become just the 11th nation to play men's Test cricket when they face Pakistan at Dublin's Malahide in a match starting Friday.
Ideally, they would like to emulate the feat of Australia, who remain the only side to have won their inaugural Test -- beating England in the first such match, in Melbourne in 1877.
And the Irish will certainly hope that, whatever happens in the days ahead, they avoid the fate of New Zealand, who took 26 years to win their first Test match.
Below AFP Sport looks at how all the previous 10 Test nations started off and how long they each took to record a win in the format.

Australia
First Test match: 1877, Melbourne
Result: Beat England by 45 runs

England
First Test: 1877, Melbourne
Result: Lost to Australia by 45 runs
Time of first win: 2 weeks, 2 Tests

South Africa
First Test: 1889, Port Elizabeth
Result: Lost to England by 8 wickets
Time of first win: 7 years, 12 Tests

West Indies
First Test: 1928, Lord's
Result: Lost to England by an inns and 58 runs
Time of first win: 2 years, 6 Tests

New Zealand
First Test: 1930, Christchurch
Result: Lost to England by 8 wickets
Time of first win: 26 years, 45 Tests

India
First Test: 1932, Lord's
Result: Lost to England by 158 runs
Time of first win: 20 years, 25 Tests

Pakistan
First Test: 1952, Delhi
Result: Lost to India by an inns and 70 runs
Time of first win: 1 week, two Tests

Sri Lanka
First Test: 1982, Colombo
Result: Lost to England by 7 wkts
Time of first win: 3 years, 14 Tests

Zimbabwe
First Test: 1992, Harare
Result: Drew with India
Time of first win: 3 years, 11 Tests

Bangladesh
First Test: 2000, Dhaka
Result: Lost to India by 9 wkts
Time of first win: 5 years, 35 Tests


Tazkarti ticketing platform draws criticism in Egypt ahead of Africa Cup of Nations

Updated 18 June 2019
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Tazkarti ticketing platform draws criticism in Egypt ahead of Africa Cup of Nations

  • Tazkarti will be the sole source of tickets for the tournament

CAIRO: Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) host country Egypt has launched an online ticketing platform called Tazkarti, which will be the sole source of tickets for the tournament, which begins June 22.

Its aim is to combat ticket touts and black market sales for the continent’s biggest football tournament, and to ensure that ticket prices remain fixed at the price decided by the AFCON organizing committee. It is also a measure of the steps Egypt is taking to ensure that the tournament passes peacefully. 

Football stadiums have been almost entirely empty since 2011 because of security issues after long-time President Hosni Mubarak stepped down following national protests in which football fans played a major role, resulting in violent, often lethal, clashes with police and between rival fans.

In 2012, Port Said stadium witnessed a riot that left 72 Al-Ahly supporters dead after a pitch invasion by Masri supporters at the end of a Premier League game. In 2015, 19 Zamalek fans were killed and 20 injured when police attempted to disperse large crowds making their way into a Cairo stadium to attend a Premier League game. 

Those were just two of several incidents that meant authorities imposed a ban on people attending football matches or severely restricted the number of people that could do so.

Every AFCON ticket purchased via Tazkarti will be scanned at the stadium to ensure it matches the holder’s “Fan ID.” If it does not, the holder will not be allowed into the ground.

Tickets for matches featuring the Egyptian national team range from 200 to 2,500 Egyptian pounds ($12-$150), while other matches range from 100 to 500 Egyptian pounds ($6 to $30).

While those prices might sound affordable to outsiders, in a country where a doctor earns around $90 to $179 per month, many have found themselves priced out of the tournament already.

“I am a married dentist with three kids. If I want to attend a match with my family, I would have to pay 1,000 pounds ($60), (not including) transportation and snacks,” Dr. M. Sheta, who lives in Damietta, told Arab News.

“To book a cinema ticket nowadays ranges between 70 and 100 pounds and a good meal costs 100 pounds minimum. If I can afford that, then I can afford AFCON tickets,” said a housewife in Mansoura, who asked to remain anonymous.

Plenty of young Egyptians took to social media to express their displeasure with the ticket prices.

“This is a clear message that middle-class Egyptians are not welcome,” said Ahmed Zahran.

“I would rather pay a total of 10 pounds at any coffee shop and watch the matches there,” said Ahmed El-Tlabanty.

Some fans believe that the prices have been set high to discourage Ultras (the most passionate football fans) from attending.

An administrator of the “Ultras Ahlawy” Facebook group, while stressing that he hoped supporters “have fun watching AFCON,” asked Arab News: “Why would I pay 200 pounds to watch a match? I do not (make hundreds of pounds).”

Aside from issues with the high prices, people have also been widely critical of the technical performance of the new ticketing platform, which has been under pressure from high demand for Fan IDs.

“You guys are so disrespectful and unprofessional. I’ve been trying to reach out for more than two weeks and no one is answering — not on messenger nor the hotline. You made the whole championship experience the worst,” wrote Fatma El-Dardiry. “I called your customer service at least five times, placed three complaints and texted you on Facebook more than once. Now, the tickets of cat 1 and 2 for the opening match have already sold out.”