Afghanistan v USA, World Twenty20 Qualifiers February 11, 2010

'We are the Rocky of world cricket' - Hamid Hassan

Cricinfo staff
54

Afghanistan's battle against adversity during their rise up the cricket ranks has all the makings of a Hollywood script. Now, after their victory over USA which confirmed progression to the Super Fours of the World Twenty20 Qualifiers, Hamid Hassan, their star performer, has compared his country's success against the odds to the iconic boxing movie Rocky, with Hassan himself delivering the knockout blow.

Hassan took 3 for 14 as USA were restricted to 106 for 7 in their pursuit of 136 on Thursday, and it gives him a tournament haul of eight wickets at 8.12. Hassan, who spent time as an MCC Young Cricketer along with team-mate Mohammad Nabi, has been a regular contributor to Afghanistan's growing list of international victories with his pace bowling.

"I am a big fan of American television and movies and my favourite film is Rocky - I vividly remember watching it when I was growing up - and one of my heroes is Sylvester Stallone," Hassan wrote in his Cricinfo blog.

"I think that there is a similarity in the story of Rocky and the Afghanistan cricket team - we both started at the bottom and gradually made our way up the rankings. It is easy to forget how far we have come in the last two years since we played at the World Cricket League Division 5 in Jersey."

Afghanistan are now one step closer to reaching the World Twenty20 in West Indies having just missed out on qualification for the 2011 World Cup and Hassan couldn't help but think ahead to the possibility of facing the leading teams in the world.

"We all want to win the tournament," he said. "Having the chance to play against India or South Africa at the ICC World Twenty20 really would be like Rocky having the chance to fight the champion and we are determined to make our dreams come true."

Rocky overcame all his obstacles to become the champion, and don't rule out Afghanistan scripting their own, real life, glorious ending.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 14, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    BCCI, ECB and Srilankan board should help Afghanistan. We do not have a standar ground, but we are consistently defeating teams like Ireland, Scotland and UAE who have all the facilities at their service.

    IPL should sign two or three of our players, like Hamid Hassan, Mohammad Nabi and others.

  • Vernacular_Press on February 12, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    I think its the rapid improvement by a cricket team in cricket that i have followed.Anyway credit must go to Pakistan also.I think pakistanis would be happy even if India(my country) qualifies for Football world cup. Twenty20 has proved the direction to move forward.

  • WASEEM.SAJID on February 12, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    we didnt said they are Pakistanies they are Afghans and proud afghans but we mentioned they groomed in Pakistan and we have a very close relation with them. They are just like our brothers. So some indians are indicating we are not happy. How is it possible that you are not happy on your brother's success. Such comments are very irritating for any Pakistani and Afghani as well

  • Sabahati on February 12, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    Congrats to Afghanistan. and Please don't mention that this team includes Pakistani's as this is not fair to there effort in achieving this triumph.They may be grown in Pakistan as almost many of the current generation may have been born in Pakistan but they are playing for there country.

  • Sabahati on February 12, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    Congrats to Afghanistan. and Please don't mention that this team includes Pakistani's as this is not fair to there effort in achieving this triumph.They may be grown in Pakistan as almost many of the current generation may have been born in Pakistan but they are playing for there country.

  • WASEEM.SAJID on February 12, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    Mr. Rohan There are lot of Afghans in Pakistan. and we are very good buddies. In my office here in Islamabad 16 Afghan officials are working with me. And We discuss and we love to watch them. Some of their players even groomed in Pakistan. How can u say we are not happy.

    @ Afghan Team Well done guys you are doing fabulous job. Keep rocking like Rockies

  • on February 12, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    I'd love to see the Afghan cricket team play in the T20 World Cup, and I supported them fervently in the 2011 World Cup Qualifiers. Keep up the good work!

  • qayoomzadran on February 12, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    Awsome Afghan Cricket team you are doing an excellent job for afghan people you are the one who bring some good news to our new genration I proud of you, God bless you.

  • qayoomzadran on February 12, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    congratulations & well done Afghan Cricket team we proud of you , thanks cricinfo and All those who support Afghan cricket team, best of luck.

  • pradeepsarathy on February 12, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    I would really love to see Afghanistan break into the big league. Imagine - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. WOW!!! To me it sounds like BHARATH, The Ancient India :-)

  • on February 14, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    BCCI, ECB and Srilankan board should help Afghanistan. We do not have a standar ground, but we are consistently defeating teams like Ireland, Scotland and UAE who have all the facilities at their service.

    IPL should sign two or three of our players, like Hamid Hassan, Mohammad Nabi and others.

  • Vernacular_Press on February 12, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    I think its the rapid improvement by a cricket team in cricket that i have followed.Anyway credit must go to Pakistan also.I think pakistanis would be happy even if India(my country) qualifies for Football world cup. Twenty20 has proved the direction to move forward.

  • WASEEM.SAJID on February 12, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    we didnt said they are Pakistanies they are Afghans and proud afghans but we mentioned they groomed in Pakistan and we have a very close relation with them. They are just like our brothers. So some indians are indicating we are not happy. How is it possible that you are not happy on your brother's success. Such comments are very irritating for any Pakistani and Afghani as well

  • Sabahati on February 12, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    Congrats to Afghanistan. and Please don't mention that this team includes Pakistani's as this is not fair to there effort in achieving this triumph.They may be grown in Pakistan as almost many of the current generation may have been born in Pakistan but they are playing for there country.

  • Sabahati on February 12, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    Congrats to Afghanistan. and Please don't mention that this team includes Pakistani's as this is not fair to there effort in achieving this triumph.They may be grown in Pakistan as almost many of the current generation may have been born in Pakistan but they are playing for there country.

  • WASEEM.SAJID on February 12, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    Mr. Rohan There are lot of Afghans in Pakistan. and we are very good buddies. In my office here in Islamabad 16 Afghan officials are working with me. And We discuss and we love to watch them. Some of their players even groomed in Pakistan. How can u say we are not happy.

    @ Afghan Team Well done guys you are doing fabulous job. Keep rocking like Rockies

  • on February 12, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    I'd love to see the Afghan cricket team play in the T20 World Cup, and I supported them fervently in the 2011 World Cup Qualifiers. Keep up the good work!

  • qayoomzadran on February 12, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    Awsome Afghan Cricket team you are doing an excellent job for afghan people you are the one who bring some good news to our new genration I proud of you, God bless you.

  • qayoomzadran on February 12, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    congratulations & well done Afghan Cricket team we proud of you , thanks cricinfo and All those who support Afghan cricket team, best of luck.

  • pradeepsarathy on February 12, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    I would really love to see Afghanistan break into the big league. Imagine - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. WOW!!! To me it sounds like BHARATH, The Ancient India :-)

  • yourpillman on February 12, 2010, 2:14 GMT

    By all means, Afghan Team is very inspiring and will give their best efforts in playing their every game with lots of enthusiasm and passion. After all, as Swagoto Roy says, it is time for other nations to refresh the new teams list, otherwise cricket was getting boring. Bravo and Kudus to all Afghans.

  • on February 12, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    Congrats Afghanistan! Best of Luck!

  • on February 12, 2010, 0:11 GMT

    Way to go Afghanistan. You are showing to the world that talents can never be destroyed regardless of the situation. I hope you qualify for the world cup and cause some upsets there too. If Croatia could do it in the football world cup, why not Afghanistan. Congrats and all the best.

  • osee_bhai on February 11, 2010, 23:30 GMT

    Amazing, would be an amazing scripture to see you guys there!!

  • d_gott on February 11, 2010, 23:19 GMT

    Congrats on the win Afghanistan! Really hoping for you guys win the final.

    Hey, does anyone know if the match against Netherlands is being streamed on the net anywhere? Would be great to watch!

  • rohan024 on February 11, 2010, 23:09 GMT

    Apart from Pakistanis, i guess the entire cricketing world is happy on the performance by this young team. God bless this team as Afghanis deserve happiness in their lives. All Indians wish Afghani team very good luck for the finals.

  • on February 11, 2010, 22:22 GMT

    well done afghan team . i am sure afghanistan will be greatest team in cricket. i am sure in next 2 years, afghanistan well the best team. i am very happy afghan cricket ream win from usa.

  • tomusial on February 11, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    SUPERB! Something new in World Cricket, but Afghanis must win one match now (with UAE or Holland) - without this winning score: WILL BE NOTHING! NO ANY SUCCESS! AFGHANISTAN and HOLLAND progress to World T20! I hope :)

  • LarAoBarPukhtun on February 11, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    Its a great achievent and is very pleasant for all pashtuns from both Afghanistan and Pukhtunkhwa. Cograts!

  • on February 11, 2010, 21:10 GMT

    BEST WISHES FROM ALL THE PAKISTAN TO AFGANS. AFGANISTAN ROCKS....

  • zeeshanalee on February 11, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • CavemanX on February 11, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    A very big congrats to Afghanistan. I deeply want the Afghans in the T20 world cup. I really hope the ICC recognises the talent in Afghanistan and therefore provides them with the funding and fixtures they truly deserve. I seriously beleive they can be a top T20 and ODI team soon. if they are looked after. The ICC needs to build them an academy just like the Academy system they have in Australia. Its also VERY IMPORTANT, the coaches/staff are sourced only from AUS/NZ/ENG from whom they will learn all the disciplines of cricket in the correct fashion and funding will be correctly routed. Ireland is another team which needs be supported further, including there best players not being stolen by England. Cricket needs more competent teams to sustain itself. ICC - You need to open your eyes. You have the perfect opportunity to prove your worth as a governing council. Im not Afghani but i feel a true passion for Afghani cricket. Go Afghanistan. Go Ireland.

  • Jamesinsnow on February 11, 2010, 20:13 GMT

    Well done to Afghanistan, although my recollection of Rocky is not that he made his way up the rankings, but started at the bottom and suddenly was offered a one-off fight against the World Champion.

  • on February 11, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    You are the real Rockies of World Cricket!

  • on February 11, 2010, 18:48 GMT

    I am very happy to see our Afghan Bros. on the path of success. I pray that they will InshaAllah qualify for the ICC world T20 and come head to head with the top ranked cricketing nations. All the best and Good Luck.

  • AllanofSouza on February 11, 2010, 18:31 GMT

    Congrats, Afganistan!! I really want you to make it to the big stage. You guys are really making huge steps ahead. Keep it up. I will be chaeering for you from Toronto, Canada. Go Afghanistan, Go!!

  • LarAoBarPukhtun on February 11, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    Its a Great Achievement and hopefully we will see Afghanistan in T20 word cup. It would be a great a day for all the Pushtuns in Pukhtunkhwa Pakistan.

  • Mashq on February 11, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    Good show.. I think Pakistan team and board should take lesson from this performence. i believe pakistan should be kept out of any circketing fromat until they set right their board and the mental status of the players.

  • fataquie on February 11, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    I think it is really high time for the Asian cricketing powers in Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka to stand up and extend a sincere helping hand in getting these Afghan players exposure in their domestic cricekt, A-team tours, Under 19 tours, and a full strength series, at least for T-20s and maybe ODIs, specially with the fact that Afghanistan has ODI status for right now. And to all those who are saying that there may be Pakistanis in Afghan team, that is just pure arrogance and ingornace. I am in the US and I have played against Afghans and they are pretty damn good, if not better than the way Pakistanis and Indians play. All they need is a helping hand to get some exposure ....say a bowling clinic with Waz or a batting net practive with the Little Master (Tendulkar)....team sessions with Pak and India...those will be such confidence boosters for a team that is determined to go beyond even their own expectations.

  • Travis on February 11, 2010, 17:10 GMT

    But Rocky lost to Apollo Creed in Rocky, what he really wants to emulate is Rocky II. But really, the only good thing about Rocky I or Rocky II is that it meant there could be a Rocky III with Mr T. My prediction? Pain!

  • chandau on February 11, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    LOL what will "ROCKY" say to all this???? Being Italian i bet SLY would not know head or tails about cricket heh heh heh. Thought i remember seeing him play that Afghan game with a dead sheep in one of the First Blood films.

    Well done Afghans, just wish Pakistan would take note of this without winging. cheers from Sri Lanka :)

  • MENDIS_Forever on February 11, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    Well done Afganistan!!! you guys have a sparkling future.I'm from Srilanka,and I really want to see Afgans playing WC20-2010.don't mind that u r going to play against toughest teams there.All the best mates! your future looks rosy.good luck!

  • on February 11, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    CONGRATSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! U ROCK

  • on February 11, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    May be one day Sylvester Stallone will make a movie "Remember The Afghans" in line of American Football movie 'Remember The Titans" with Hamid Hasan in lead role :). It's an amazing story what Afghanistan team has done so far in their short history. I am sure they along with Ireland will be at World T20 in Caribbean.

  • on February 11, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    @ talib jan

    pls dont get political here man.....as u kno how much pakistan is suffering due to these refugees.... v always considered u as our brothers n that what any one can see in the markets of cities like lahore n karachi there r alot of afghans working n making a good living.

    these are not pakistanis but they started their cricket here......

    @ topic its always good to c afghans prospering.......hope to c them in Caribbean.....n v can also xpect a good performance from these rockies there too :)

  • on February 11, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    well my my my it was really amazing to see that it has ben ritten that Pakistan made the players struggle in fact what ever their performnce is now it is all because of the fact that they grew up there and played there, the strenght of NWFP talent is not a hidden fact, suggest that this negative propeganda against Pakistan should be stopped immediately, this is shame.

  • subz on February 11, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    This is such a great coincidence AFGANISTAN BEATING USA LOL isnt this a dream line of all afgan news editors lol i congratulate afganistan n im slightyly worried for pakistan as there is a chance of infiltration

  • ravikant.kisana on February 11, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    I am an Indian and have been following Afghanistan's cricket for quite sometime. It is remarkable what they are achieving everyday. They really deserve to play the T20 world cup... i really hope they do. Love these guys!

    PS: Cricinfo thanks a ton for the live coverage!

  • on February 11, 2010, 15:34 GMT

    Congratulations - Afghanistan team..

  • on February 11, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    I think Afghanistan will qualify and also do well at icc t20....its high time that cricket in south asia does not get confined to ind,pak,srl,ban......we should encourage the development of this game in afghan, nepal, burma, maldives....thers a lot of talent in these contries n cricket is equally popular in this part of the world.....well done afghanistan.......great progress.....also to stay in match practice s important n i think icc shud award them ovrseas tours with first classs sides.... say a tour of england, playing against some major counties and 2 or 3 first class against england A will surely boost things up....its time icc start noticing whos doing well in the assoc and affiliate members list and start supporting them......congrats again....go afghans go!!!!

  • WaseemAhmed on February 11, 2010, 15:04 GMT

    There's so much of irony in this. Afganistan beating USA. Brings a smile to anyone's face.

  • on February 11, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    Its amazing to see the rise of Afghanistan.. Hoping to see them in the Carrebean..

  • on February 11, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    These guys are all 100% Afghan Nationals. Only three of the guys in the team were born to Afghan families in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan. That does not make them Pakistanis. The only Pakistani in the team is their coach Kabir Khan and that's it. Its true that some of these guys grew up in refugee camps in Pakistan like most Afghans of their generation, far from being Pakistanis , these guys have suffered most from Pakistani patronism due to their refugee status in Pakistan. The stories of their struggle and hardship is what makes their achievments even more sweeter and worthy.

  • on February 11, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    i Love when one of my guy from my country doing some thing good for my country . it becaouse people of the world well know that we are not made for fighting .. we can do any thing if world leave us .. love you Hammed Jan and all team . Our people proud of you guys

  • RamaAf-Gun on February 11, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    wlll done afghanistan and also i want to fank to cricinfo for live commentry ...

  • on February 11, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    Afghanistan is my new team now. They are playing really good cricket at the moment, in two years from now they will be playing against top teams around the world. I can't wait to meet them in Guyana, at the Providence National Stadium there...

  • on February 11, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Cricket Heroes we love you....You made us proud.

  • riand on February 11, 2010, 14:21 GMT

    Well Done Afghanistan! You are indeed a diamond in the rough. Time and time again afghan cricket is proving a point. This is a very good example for cricketing nations like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. I also hope that Afghan team dont have any Pakistanis playing, there have been some rumors of such . GOOD LUCK! Bright future awaits you!!

  • katawazai85 on February 11, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    Well done my heros!!!!! you are the pride of the country now it up to the government how the react!!!! but surely you deserve a lot specially Hamid jana you and Noor Ali and rest of the team.but i appeal to all Afghans to pray more for the coming tough matches!

  • Croc_on_mara on February 11, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    Bravo Boys...Well done indeed. I am sure within the next 2 years, if things go right, we should be see a tearaway fast bowler or two emerging from this region. That said, the onus should now be on fostering homegrown talent rather than letting it become just another Pakistan-B side.The ICC blundered big time with UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore and in fact, USA too, by letting in too many expats in to the team. Sport is a great healer and I hope the BCCI would for once flex its financial muscle for a good reason and support the Afghan cause. This would be seen as a natural extension of the large scale rebuilding efforts that India is putting in Afghanistan to get the nation back on track...

  • on February 11, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    there is no doubt and we are the rocky of cricket

  • marty142 on February 11, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    Amazing achievement already - when you qualify for the finals, they should declare a national holiday! - surely it will be Afghanistan's greatest ever sporting triumph for a team game?

  • on February 11, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    Go Afghanistan! We're all backing you!!

  • on February 11, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    we pray for u guys work hard with bat and feild ,,,,,,,,so u guys can bowling well just need to work with bat ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,wish u all the best ,and thanks to beat USA ,,,,,,,

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  • on February 11, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    we pray for u guys work hard with bat and feild ,,,,,,,,so u guys can bowling well just need to work with bat ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,wish u all the best ,and thanks to beat USA ,,,,,,,

  • on February 11, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    Go Afghanistan! We're all backing you!!

  • marty142 on February 11, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    Amazing achievement already - when you qualify for the finals, they should declare a national holiday! - surely it will be Afghanistan's greatest ever sporting triumph for a team game?

  • on February 11, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    there is no doubt and we are the rocky of cricket

  • Croc_on_mara on February 11, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    Bravo Boys...Well done indeed. I am sure within the next 2 years, if things go right, we should be see a tearaway fast bowler or two emerging from this region. That said, the onus should now be on fostering homegrown talent rather than letting it become just another Pakistan-B side.The ICC blundered big time with UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore and in fact, USA too, by letting in too many expats in to the team. Sport is a great healer and I hope the BCCI would for once flex its financial muscle for a good reason and support the Afghan cause. This would be seen as a natural extension of the large scale rebuilding efforts that India is putting in Afghanistan to get the nation back on track...

  • katawazai85 on February 11, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    Well done my heros!!!!! you are the pride of the country now it up to the government how the react!!!! but surely you deserve a lot specially Hamid jana you and Noor Ali and rest of the team.but i appeal to all Afghans to pray more for the coming tough matches!

  • riand on February 11, 2010, 14:21 GMT

    Well Done Afghanistan! You are indeed a diamond in the rough. Time and time again afghan cricket is proving a point. This is a very good example for cricketing nations like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. I also hope that Afghan team dont have any Pakistanis playing, there have been some rumors of such . GOOD LUCK! Bright future awaits you!!

  • on February 11, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Cricket Heroes we love you....You made us proud.

  • on February 11, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    Afghanistan is my new team now. They are playing really good cricket at the moment, in two years from now they will be playing against top teams around the world. I can't wait to meet them in Guyana, at the Providence National Stadium there...

  • RamaAf-Gun on February 11, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    wlll done afghanistan and also i want to fank to cricinfo for live commentry ...