He reflects everything that is working about the Afghan system. In a country that has struggled with conflict and day-to-day dangers, cricket has flourished incredibly. Since they qualified for their first global tournament, they are yet to miss out on another.
That said, they are still quite an inconsistent side, often tending to be a little impatient and impetuous. Their swashbuckling style is fantastic when it comes off, but when it doesn't they are often left looking for a Plan B. Against Associate opposition, this simply doesn't matter, because Afghanistan is blessed with such an incredible stock of bowlers that pretty much anything over 150 is eminently defensible. There is a far larger talent pool in Afghanistan than there was in Bangladesh or Zimbabwe when they were promoted to the ranks of the Full Members, and arguably a larger talent pool than Ireland have to call upon. They may not have the results yet, but to give Afghanistan Test status would be a real investment in the future.
The ICC needs to get its act together right now. Ireland need Test status, and Boyd Rankin and Eoin Morgan should be offered special dispensation straight away. It is wholly wrong that the best Irish players should be winning matches against their home country because of a paucity of opportunities at home.
They are also handily placed to be eased into the Test calendar. Would it not be very easy, as I have mentioned before, for the May tourists in England to hop across the Irish sea before going home? And in the Interpros, the Irish have organised themselves a simple, well-structured domestic series. There is now a clear progression from club to national level which is almost reminiscent of the Australian grade system. The Interpros would also be strengthened immeasurably if the Irish county players came back to the Emerald Isle; so much stronger that there would be little option but to split the Leinster Lightning into two teams. Certainly, the Irish game is in good health from the roots up, as new clubs and school sides are formed all the time.
Currently, the tournament scheduled for England in four years is rumoured to be a knockout affair between the top four ranked nations. Financially, the boards will be hoping that this means India, England, Australia, and South Africa; ideally in that order. This fits in nicely with the members-only ICC modus operandi, but I (as always) have an alternative idea.
It looks remarkably similar to another global tournament, held in England. The tournament in question - the 2004 Champions' Trophy - was something of a failure, but I believe the tournament's structure could be very useful for Test cricket. The group stage, where each participating country plays two Tests, would last for three weeks, followed by the semis and finals for those who do well enough to be involved. Lasting five weeks, and spread as widely as possible around the country's first-class grounds, I think it would be a far wiser use of everyone's time.
Essentially, what I'm saying is that Ireland have earned Test status, Afghanistan would justify Test status, and the pair of them would round off the ideal Test Championship format. It's most definitely too good to be true.