It was the beaming smiles Usman Khawaja remembers most vividly after Australia wrapped up a routine World Cup win over Afghanistan.
A tick over two years ago at the peacefully, quintessential suburban ground of north Bristol, Afghanistan succumbed by seven wickets to an Australian side boasting the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc.
Were a crow to fly from England to Afghanistan, it would need to cover about 6000km. But Bristol might as well have been a million miles away from the war-ravaged nation in which these cricketers were raised.
"That was big for them," Sydney Thunder captain Khawaja recalls.
"We beat them pretty convincingly that day but you could tell even as we were shaking hands with them afterwards how excited the guys were to be in a World Cup and playing against Australia on the big stage."
Fast forward two years and Afghanistan's next giant leap as a fledgling cricketing nation will almost certainly no longer be taken.
They're due to play Australia in a Hobart Test this November, but Cricket Australia has stated it would be willing to cancel the proposed match should the Taliban refuse to support women playing the sport in Afghanistan.
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The Taliban regained control of the troubled Asian nation last month as the United States and its allies withdrew from the country it had occupied for almost 20 years.
A Taliban official declared last week that it was not necessary for women in the country to play cricket, while UN Human Rights experts responded by saying Afghanistan should be banned from playing international sport under the country's "gender apartheid".
An Afghanistan Cricket board member this week claimed there had been no direct correspondence with the Taliban, while Tuba Sangar, the country's former head of women's cricket who fled to Canada when the Islamist group regained power, has pleaded that the men's team not be punished for the Taliban's hard-line stance on female rights.
It's a view Khawaja can sympathise with.
"My heart goes out to the Afghanistan cricket team - I'm probably speaking from more of a cricket team point of view rather than anything else, they're a great bunch of blokes, I've played with them and against them, they love their cricket," Khawaja said.
"It's huge for the Afghanistan cricket team to play against Australia. We're a proud sporting nation but cricket's our number one sport.
"I don't know how it will pan out. From a purist point I think Australia does have some obligation to help out developing teams.
"Obviously it's just a bit of a tricky situation at this point in time. I totally agree with Cricket Australia's stance on equality. What's happening in Afghanistan is very fresh and new and that's where the tricky bit lies, it [the Taliban reclaiming control of the country] has all happened so quickly."
Khawaja's opinion on the issue has been sought out by Cricket Australia, and he has spoken with chief executive Nick Hockley.
"It's always our responsibility as a leading cricketing nation to try and help develop the game of cricket in general. I would love to see Cricket Australia keep working towards the goal of how there is a way to play against Afghanistan.
"As a cricketer, I would love to see Cricket Australia, the ICC and everyone work at some sort of goal to try to make this happen for the Afghanistan cricket team, taking the politics aside."