That Pakistan should win the World Cricket Twenty20 Cup was an achievement worth celebrating, but its being related to the War on Terror was more because among the costs to Pakistan of the War was the inability to host foreign teams, and thus to hold events like the World Cup, which was shifted away from Pakistan to the UK in a hurry because Pakistan was not considered a suitable venue from the point of view of security. This has been followed by the call for the matches Pakistan was to host for the next World Cup to be cancelled, and the venue to be shifted. Pakistan countered with a proposal to host those games at Dubai, which it proved a suitable venue for cricket with the one-day series against Australia. The reason why teams do not want to visit Pakistan is not because any cricketers have lost their lives, but because the New Zealand team hotel was attacked in Karachi, and then the only team which dared tour to Pakistan, the Sri Lankan, was itself attacked by terrorists in Lahore. As a result, Pakistan became a non-destination for cricket teams in a way that Sri Lanka had not, even with a Tamil insurgency raging. All that happened was apparently that the Sri Lankan authorities did not schedule any matches for the insurgency-hit part of the country. Because Pakistan suffered under this disability, its win at Lord's, and that too over Sri Lanka, which had itself progressed to the final, gained in significance. However, to describe as the first piece of good news for a nation afflicted with terrorism, is perhaps to give it more significance than it deserves. It perhaps lumps this win with other acts of terrorism, and does not acknowledge that the Twenty20 championship is a further Americanisation of a game purists already find too Americanised. The game's governing body, the ICC, is not dominated by the USA, but it is now pursuing American ideals of expansion, and it is in these expansion plans that one comes across another participant in the War on Terror, Afghanistan, which is one of the six teams, probably seven, that take part in the top division of the Intercontinental Cup, whose second division brings to 10 or 11 the total number of the Associate Members taking part in this tier of competition just below the full ICC members. Previously, there was either Full Membership, which started off with England, Australia and South Africa before World War I, and which saw New Zealand, India and the West Indies join before World War II, or nothing really. After World War II, the new members were the by-products of the UK's decolonisation process. Pakistan was admitted after a successful MCC tour here, back in 1952, while Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe depended on wins in the World Cup, but more relevant was their dominance in the ICC Trophy, the qualifier for the World Cup. This was also the route taken by Bangladesh to Full membership decades after its departure from Pakistan, one of the two dominions into which the British split their Indian colony. Afghanistan did not learn cricket from the British, though Afghanistan was long exposed to British influence, but when Afghans came to Pakistan en masse, during the Soviet invasion, they learnt cricket. It was after the creation of Bangladesh that cricket left the big cities of Pakistan and reached the NWFP, but when it did, it reached the Afghans, who took it back when they returned to Afghanistan. The Afghan team has toured Pakistan, where it plays with Peshawar club sides. Afghans have had a good time in cricket of late, with Pakistan captain and leading batsman Younis Khan, leading fast bowler (and the tournament's leading wicket-taker and the T20 bowling analysis record-holder) Umar Gul, and all-rounder (Man of the Match in both semi-final and final) Shahid Afridi, are all Pakhtuns. In a team which never before included Pakhtuns so regularly, it represents an amazing dominance. Hopefully it also represents a permanent shift from the previous Karachi-Lahore dominance, or rather monopoly, which prevailed before. Even Iraq has prospered under the American occupation, in the national sport of football, which in Pakistan is not a major sport, despite also having a British origin, and is not really a mass sport at all, except in Lyari in Karachi, as well as on Balochistan's Makran Coast. Iraq has gone into the Confederation Cup, and has qualified for the soccer World Cup. However, it should be noted that Iraq and Afghanistan are overtly under American occupation while Pakistan is not. While sports are political, it is unlikely that even the world's sole superpower can deliver sporting success to teams that do not deserve it. Yet the success of Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as of Iraq, should disguise the fact that their governing bodies, the ICC of cricket and FIFA of football, are both part of the American complex that makes up the sports industry. The sports industry regards sports as a subset of the entertainment industry, shown by ICC membership of the relevant anti-doping agencies that service world sport. While FIFA is fully integrated into this system through its being represented on the national Olympic committees, the ICC is part mainly through the web of television sponsorships that has grown around its members in recent years. The reason individual countries seek visits by other teams is because the visits generate revenues. The primary source of income used to be ticket sales, but now it is TV rights. The main lesson of this victory is provided by the fate of the previous and inaugural champions, India. It had defeated the old enemy, archrival Pakistan, in the final, but in this Cup did not even reach the Super Eights stage, being knocked out in the preliminary stage of the Cup. Pakistan should also learn from its own World Cup win of 1992, which was followed by being losing quarter-finalists in 1996, losing finalists in 1999, and not getting to the next stage in 2003. Yet in 2020, Pakistan has won after being the losing finalists last year. So while the Cup is good news for a nation that has not had much, it will not really be good news until Pakistan retains the title. And that will not likely have anything to do with the War on Terror. Besides, as George W Bush so well demonstrated on his final visit to Pakistan, Americans can't play cricket.