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

"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

RSS Feeds: Mohammad Isam

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

Good luck Afghanistan

Posted by naimurchowdhury32 on (February 26, 2014, 7:48 GMT)

Afghanistan are going nowhere as their lazy Board is not organising enough tests against top opposition for them,

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 7:36 GMT)

For akash What are you saying this is afghan team not second pak team we proud our team the fastest growing cricket team in the world and i believe they will play a good cricket in this tournament

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 7:23 GMT)

every people think all player of afghnaistan from Pakistan but all player from Afghanistan

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 7:12 GMT)

inshallah Afghanistan well win againt Pakistan

Posted by AbdulMohamad731 on (February 26, 2014, 7:09 GMT)

Nothing will help Afghanistan unless they play lots of test matches against top opposition.

Posted by cricwar4184 on (February 26, 2014, 7:00 GMT)

I would love to see T20 ASIA CUP. Great fun....

Posted by sleepy1660 on (February 26, 2014, 6:58 GMT)

Very excited to see the Afghan team come so far in such a short time. All the best to these big-heart boys from a BD fan. Waiting for some upsets (not against BD plz!).

Posted by wapuser on (February 26, 2014, 6:55 GMT)

Hang on.. Is this a afghan team or second pak team? Looking at player profile and seems like a second string pak team to me. Mostly either live or from Pakistan. Whatever it is good to see another Asian team on the rise .. Ireland doing this why not afghan. Anyways good luck to afghan fans.

Posted by wapuser on (February 26, 2014, 6:38 GMT)

I hope they will perform well and win the matches for us. Afghanistan is a fastest growing country in the field of cricket.

Posted by .Raina on (February 26, 2014, 6:30 GMT)

Afghanistan team is good and pretty talented considering they have been playing competitive cricket for not even a full decade. Their team seems to be measured in their approach and expectations from this outing, but their fans are getting ahead of themselves and expecting a whole series of miracles in this tournament. They should be happy to be competitive at this level and push a few games close enough. A win will be a big thing and could put Afghan cricket on a totally new trajectory.

Posted by ErangaMahesh on (February 26, 2014, 6:04 GMT)

@BDrox11 not over hype as your team BD

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 6:03 GMT)

@BDrox11 could you please elaborate on what you mean by over "hyped Minnow"? Btw, Bangladesh is also not a big team if we compare it to some associate teams.....

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 6:00 GMT)

Afghanistan is the world fastest growing nation in the history of cricket. our U19 beaten Pakistan, Australia and many more full and associate members, if your U19 can do that, so defiantly our national will perform better then them . and insha Allah we will disappoint some full members.

Posted by FHZAHID on (February 26, 2014, 5:46 GMT)

A good team. We may see an upset in Asia Cup from Afghanistan. At least they have the ability to give tough time to Bangladesh.

Posted by Arif.Dost on (February 26, 2014, 5:32 GMT)

Thanks Nabi I Hope You will be Playe Good Cricket And You will be Beat Some Team In Asia Cup . In Shah Allah

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 5:28 GMT)

Expecting a few upsets by this Afghan team... the more you play the more you become perfect........ :) Good luck from Bangladesh fan........ give us a real good fight......:)

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 5:22 GMT)

inshullah Afghanistan will be the asian champion .

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 5:21 GMT)

@BDrox11 Wait and see! Afghanistan is a good team they deserve to be given test status. They have the talent and a very good U19 team which beat Australia U19 in the world cup, it is only matter of time for them to prove that they are worthy of playing alongside big teams.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 5:10 GMT)

BDrox11 : If you are not following the cricket,then you should not say bullshit in your comments.Afghanistan is the only team on the earth who have gained ODI status in period of 5 years starting from zero.They have played in three T-twenty world cups and they have recently qualified for the 50 over world cup.Also they have won the elite cup and four times associate Asian cups.Our under19 have beaten teams like Pakistan,Sri Lanka ,Bangladesh,Australia which show the depth of the cricket in Afghanistan.Do you still think they have less talent?Wait and see the upsets Afghanistan team will cause in the Asian cup.....

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 4:53 GMT)

BDrox11 .... yes you are right that we are just the associate but we are the associate with talent and that talent will surly rise over the Asia cup you need to follow up the teams performance and than comment against or offend !!!

Best of the best luck Afghan Tigers


Posted by BDrox11 on (February 26, 2014, 4:20 GMT)

Another typical over hyped Minnow team. People trying to put them falsely in a higher position and trying to make a hype over their wins against other associates countries. but reality is they are just a associate team with less talent but of course with a big mouth.

Posted by wapuser on (February 26, 2014, 3:50 GMT)

Like in football u will be an asian champion soon inshaaAllah

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Mohammad IsamClose
Related Links
Players/Officials: Mohammad Nabi
Series/Tournaments: Asia Cup
Teams: Afghanistan
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 »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days