Asia Cup 2014

Afghanistan hope to rally on familiar conditions

Mohammad Isam

February 26, 2014

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A
'Afghanistan will be exciting to watch'

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi has said that the team will bank on the local knowledge acquired from playing domestic competitions in Bangladesh.

Eight Afghanistan players, six of whom are in the current squad, played for various clubs in Dhaka earlier this season, and a few had also participated in the Bangladesh Premier League last year. They performed admirably, particularly Nabi who did well for Mohammedan Sporting Club, one of the oldest clubs in Dhaka, in the Dhaka Premier Division 2013-14. In five matches, he scored 223 runs at 44.6, including a hundred.


Mohammad Nabi took five wickets for 12 runs, his first five-for haul in List A cricket, Namibia v Afghanistan, WCL Championship, Windhoek, August 9, 2013
Mohammad Nabi produced some stellar displays for Mohammedan Sporting Club during Bangladesh's domestic season © ICC/Helge Schutz
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"I have played in the BPL and the Dhaka Premier Division," Nabi said. "In both tournaments, I performed very well and I know the grounds and pitches in Bangladesh. It is good for me and we will try our best to perform.

"Rahmat Shah, Azghar (Stanikzai), Gulbadin Naib, (Mohammad) Shahzad, Shapoor (Zadran), maybe half the team has played in Bangladesh and this is a good experience for them and for Afghanistan."

Ostensibly, the Asian Cricket Council gave Afghanistan a berth in this Asia Cup to prepare well for the World Twenty20s and the 2015 World Cup for which they qualified last year. They are realistic about their goals in the tournament, and given form and ranking, Bangladesh are their closest opponent, particularly as the hosts will be without Shakib Al Hasan.

"We will try our best against every team. There is no target," Nabi said. "We will play good cricket and when the time comes we will win.

"I have heard about Shakib Al Hasan being banned for three matches. This is a good chance as he is a key player for Bangladesh. We will take it as a priority and look forward to it."

Afghanistan have only played ODIs against Pakistan and Australia among the Full Members, but they left an impression on Misbah-ul-Haq, who had praised the side's commitment. For Nabi, the fact that other captains and teams are discussing Afghanistan is a source of "good news".

"It's a very good feeling to play against big teams. We played against India and Pakistan in big events like the World T20, against Pakistan in ODIs and T20s in Sharjah," Nabi said. "Maybe they know how Afghanistan plays and we hope to give them a tough time. It is good news that other team captains talk about the Afghanistan team. They know how we play, that's why they talk about us. We will try our best to play good cricket in this tournament."

There is some experience within the ranks, and Nabi believes that someone like Najibullah Zadran, who made 38 against Pakistan in a T20 last year, will be an important performer for the side.

"He (Najibullah) is a good talent. He already performed against Pakistan in T20s and he has been in good touch in the last one month in our camp in Sri Lanka. Hopefully, he will perform here as well."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by AbdulMohamad731 on (February 27, 2014, 8:24 GMT)

Shocking selection by Afghanistan. Not playing their best bowler Hamid Hasan.

Posted by roni123 on (February 27, 2014, 6:28 GMT)

guys India is the best and Afghanistan is good . Afghanistan can twin cause it is a new team i i hope that it wins against Pakistan and against every team except India.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 1:35 GMT)

afghanistan is by far better team than bangladesh. if afg get professional coaches and good cricket fecilities, they can beat any team in the world. the talent is there. just needs to be polished and guide properly.

Posted by Swopnosari_BD on (February 26, 2014, 20:51 GMT)

Afghans, don't underestimate Bangladesh. u haven't won against any match with test nation. u just win against associated. BD will play without Sakib, Tamim & captain Mushfiq. it's just like BD "A" team.

Posted by Alokozai on (February 26, 2014, 17:52 GMT)

we hope that Afghanistan will win the match from Pakistan

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 16:12 GMT)

yes we Afghan really exciting when heard about our brave and courage we hope to be the best and no.1 cricket team ranking in the world. InshahALLAH we will prove and also show to world soon.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 11:56 GMT)

good luck. these guys always impress with their hard work.

Posted by Younas126 on (February 26, 2014, 10:05 GMT)

We will see our (Afghanistan) performance in the Asia Cup- Best of Luck Afghan Cricket Team!

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 9:43 GMT)

they can be good team future they have confidence. and energy

Posted by Samiullah-Stanikzai on (February 26, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

Expecting an upset Inshallah at least a win will be a major achievement.

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Players/Officials: Mohammad Nabi
Series/Tournaments: Asia Cup
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Tournament Results
Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 8, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 22 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 3 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
Afghanistan v India at Dhaka - Mar 5, 2014
India won by 8 wickets (with 106 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka - Mar 4, 2014
Pakistan won by 3 wickets (with 1 ball remaining)
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 129 runs
More results »
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