Afghanistan June 2, 2008

Afghanistan president praises cricketers

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Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, added his voice to those of exuberant cricket fans welcoming Afghanistan's young team home Monday after they stayed on course for possible qualification for the 2011 World Cup.

The team was met at the airport in Kabul by sporting officials and a small throng of supporters who presented them with garlands before leading them through the city in a noisy, flag-waving cavalcade.

More fans waited at the stadium, famous for its Taliban-era executions, but the numbers were limited for security reasons, one cricketing official said, with the threat of extremist attacks ever-present in Afghanistan.

In a statement, Karzai described the team and their achievement in winning the final of the World Cricket League Division 5 in Jersey as "a source of pride and honour for Afghanistan.

"With this victory, the national cricket team of Afghanistan showed that despite years-long war and financial problems, Afghans can achieve many glories.”

Karzai's government is battling to rebuild Afghanistan after decades of war but faces a growing Taliban-led insurgency, booming narcotics trade and corruption undermining morale.

Success at the tournament means Afghanistan, along with Jersey, will compete in the ICC World Cricket League division four in October, taking them one step further along the road to possible World Cup qualification.

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • majeed on February 1, 2009, 2:33 GMT

    salaam Afghanistan my beloved land. Its a great pleasure to see my beloved people achieving a great honour for my country. Congratulations, you are well deserved heros for our country.

  • Suliman on August 12, 2008, 3:00 GMT

    Congratulation to Afghan team. I wish we get to watch our heroes play in 2011 World Cup. Good Luck!

  • Javed Yousifi on July 8, 2008, 12:47 GMT

    although I am late in congratulating the national team for there achievement, not only achievement to them bur sure for the country. I am surprise how a team which doesn't have a ground to practice can win a big tournament, I wonder if they have been give facilities and are provided with international coach and trainer what they will do, for sure they will be the best team. when I returned back to country we started playing cricket with a ball we used to make from a peice of cotton and the bat we only make it by a carpenter, and yet I am proud of my team where most of them started playing cricket from that level. All the best to the national team, and I wish them more success in the future.

  • Abdullah Siddiqui on June 22, 2008, 7:47 GMT

    congratulations to Afghanistan cricket team and all afghans through out of the world, i cant express my feelings only my tears in my eyes can express my happiness I wish and I am sure of Afghanistan cricket team success in would cup 2011 and I wish them best of Luck.

  • PRANJAL SRIVASTAVA on June 13, 2008, 14:32 GMT

    I feel so good to see countries like afghanistan coming through and making their mark on the international stage. What realy is more heartening is the fact that Mr.Hameed Karzai is taking keen interest in the game which is such a big boost for them. It would also do wonders to the international stature of the game and would surely make international cricket more exciting with those afghans and pathans around... we have already how shahid afridi has entertained us, imagine a team full of such guys ... big awesome hitters... fierce strong fast bowlers... man afghanistan looks like a realy exciting prospect does'nt it. All the best to them...

  • Nasir Ahmad Khogiani on June 11, 2008, 4:59 GMT

    What we try for we can achieve with our honor and skills, now the gun is Bat and the bullets are balls for us all what we have from the past is war and from the present is CRICKET we can't express our happiness but we see Smiles in our tears I don’t know how to congratulate our team its not enough only to say Congratulation, these are the players who can do and die for our country, these are they guys who can soon make our dreams true Inshallah we will see our Flag blow with smooth wind in 2011 World Cup

  • vinnie on June 10, 2008, 23:16 GMT

    congratulations to Afghanistan, what a great story! I can hardly wait to see this team in action in a major tourney sometime not so far in future - an American cricket fan.

  • Nisar Amiri on June 9, 2008, 10:11 GMT

    Salam and well done Afghanistan cricket team I wish I was part of it playing hopfully I will play one day for them I am 23 now and I am playing Grade cricket in Australia so from me best of luck and hopefully they qualify for 2011 world cup which is very important for them anyway have a good time Afghan team and best of luck for the rest of the coming matches of qualifying round. khuda hafiz

  • Simon on June 9, 2008, 3:52 GMT

    Well done to the Afghan team. I have commented before on the development of the game over there, and they are in a good position to move forward despite all the political problems. It would be good to see the Afghan team in the 2011 world cup but that is a long way off. After all they didn't exactly dominate division 5, which included only a few teams of note. It will be a long road, but i am not convinced that they have what it takes to make it to 2011 world cup. But certainly the grounding for the game to grow and flourish in Afghanistan is there, and i am sure of a big future for Afghan cricket. Congratulations on the latest achievement Afghanistan.

  • Hussain on June 6, 2008, 13:59 GMT

    Congratulations!!! To our team and our Country by Achieving a great win against Jersey in Final. As a Afghan I should say that in short course it is a big achievement for us and how far we go the world will see if ICC and ACC arrange tournaments for our cricketers to show more courage and passions in cricket.

  • majeed on February 1, 2009, 2:33 GMT

    salaam Afghanistan my beloved land. Its a great pleasure to see my beloved people achieving a great honour for my country. Congratulations, you are well deserved heros for our country.

  • Suliman on August 12, 2008, 3:00 GMT

    Congratulation to Afghan team. I wish we get to watch our heroes play in 2011 World Cup. Good Luck!

  • Javed Yousifi on July 8, 2008, 12:47 GMT

    although I am late in congratulating the national team for there achievement, not only achievement to them bur sure for the country. I am surprise how a team which doesn't have a ground to practice can win a big tournament, I wonder if they have been give facilities and are provided with international coach and trainer what they will do, for sure they will be the best team. when I returned back to country we started playing cricket with a ball we used to make from a peice of cotton and the bat we only make it by a carpenter, and yet I am proud of my team where most of them started playing cricket from that level. All the best to the national team, and I wish them more success in the future.

  • Abdullah Siddiqui on June 22, 2008, 7:47 GMT

    congratulations to Afghanistan cricket team and all afghans through out of the world, i cant express my feelings only my tears in my eyes can express my happiness I wish and I am sure of Afghanistan cricket team success in would cup 2011 and I wish them best of Luck.

  • PRANJAL SRIVASTAVA on June 13, 2008, 14:32 GMT

    I feel so good to see countries like afghanistan coming through and making their mark on the international stage. What realy is more heartening is the fact that Mr.Hameed Karzai is taking keen interest in the game which is such a big boost for them. It would also do wonders to the international stature of the game and would surely make international cricket more exciting with those afghans and pathans around... we have already how shahid afridi has entertained us, imagine a team full of such guys ... big awesome hitters... fierce strong fast bowlers... man afghanistan looks like a realy exciting prospect does'nt it. All the best to them...

  • Nasir Ahmad Khogiani on June 11, 2008, 4:59 GMT

    What we try for we can achieve with our honor and skills, now the gun is Bat and the bullets are balls for us all what we have from the past is war and from the present is CRICKET we can't express our happiness but we see Smiles in our tears I don’t know how to congratulate our team its not enough only to say Congratulation, these are the players who can do and die for our country, these are they guys who can soon make our dreams true Inshallah we will see our Flag blow with smooth wind in 2011 World Cup

  • vinnie on June 10, 2008, 23:16 GMT

    congratulations to Afghanistan, what a great story! I can hardly wait to see this team in action in a major tourney sometime not so far in future - an American cricket fan.

  • Nisar Amiri on June 9, 2008, 10:11 GMT

    Salam and well done Afghanistan cricket team I wish I was part of it playing hopfully I will play one day for them I am 23 now and I am playing Grade cricket in Australia so from me best of luck and hopefully they qualify for 2011 world cup which is very important for them anyway have a good time Afghan team and best of luck for the rest of the coming matches of qualifying round. khuda hafiz

  • Simon on June 9, 2008, 3:52 GMT

    Well done to the Afghan team. I have commented before on the development of the game over there, and they are in a good position to move forward despite all the political problems. It would be good to see the Afghan team in the 2011 world cup but that is a long way off. After all they didn't exactly dominate division 5, which included only a few teams of note. It will be a long road, but i am not convinced that they have what it takes to make it to 2011 world cup. But certainly the grounding for the game to grow and flourish in Afghanistan is there, and i am sure of a big future for Afghan cricket. Congratulations on the latest achievement Afghanistan.

  • Hussain on June 6, 2008, 13:59 GMT

    Congratulations!!! To our team and our Country by Achieving a great win against Jersey in Final. As a Afghan I should say that in short course it is a big achievement for us and how far we go the world will see if ICC and ACC arrange tournaments for our cricketers to show more courage and passions in cricket.

  • IBRAHIM on June 4, 2008, 7:57 GMT

    Congratulations for the Afghanistan national cricket team that beat jersey at their homeland and achieved division 5. i think they will qualify for the world cup 2011,if supported by other famous countries like India, Pakistan and Australia. They are spirited and have the potential so i would want the ICC and ACC to arrange a few matches for them and also support them financially. thank you cricinfo.

  • Mustafa on June 4, 2008, 6:06 GMT

    congratulations to the Afghanistan cricket team and it makes the afghan people feel excited and i want to see the afghan cricket team in the 2011 world cup that's what most of the afghan people want to see inshahullah Mustafa from Australia

  • Danish, Karachi on June 3, 2008, 22:31 GMT

    Congratulations to Afghanistan for winning WCL. I am really glad with their achievement. For past few years they have been continuously improving and have showed a lot of courage on the field. I wish them very best of luck in the future and hope they make a cut in the World Cup of 2011.

  • Mirwais on June 3, 2008, 20:54 GMT

    i don't have words to express my happiness but yeah my tears might show them :)....I am a big cricket fan and i wanted to see this day and i cant believe that it came so early than what i expected!......I just wish our heroes best of luck and my prayers and the whole nations prayers are with them

    Long Live Afghanistan

  • Mushtaq Rahim on June 3, 2008, 4:26 GMT

    Great Wing! Extremely Proud to be an Afghan....

    Cricket world! We are surely going to offer a lot to this exciting game. Afghanistan has the ability of producing hundreds of fast bowlers, the beauty of cricket, and you will no more have to look for Shoaib Akhtar to produce pace. I assure you that world would forget Gilchrist, Afridi, Jayasuriya, Symonds, Dhoni..........after some time and Aussies would no more remain the most aggressive cricket team. However, we deserve to be supported by both ACC and ICC as we have been the most fast improving and growing cricket nation. Give half of the money you are spending on development of game in some of your associate member countries and you will soon find us competing with your top teams.

    If situation allows and world supports, we are soon going to be world beaters.

    Congratulations to all Afghans for the greatest achievement.

  • Ramin on June 3, 2008, 3:30 GMT

    Congratulations to our new afghan heroes .I my self in afghan and i am intrested in cricket also . Today i see my own country heroes showing full love to this wonderfull game .I am truly congratulate them for the good win . And i think my wish comes true that i can see my own country heroes playing in world cup 2011

  • Ralph Zimmermann on June 2, 2008, 21:34 GMT

    Agree wholeheartedly with Maiwand Majboor - Afghanistan, rather like Bangladesh, has the fan-base and cricket culture to be successful, and should be given every support.

    Nepal, though, has been showing signs of promise and progress for years, but hasn't been exactly showered with generosity.

  • Masood on June 2, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    As an Afghan, such an honor and reason to be proud of my country is a once-in-a-blue-moon commodity. Afghanistan has a rich history which most of its neighbors cannot boast about.

    But it is time for us to move on. We have to step in the future and such achievements, no matter how small they are, can serve as inspiration if nothing else. I wish my team all the best and will always pray for it not just because I am an Afghan, but because I see a potential child capable of achieving so much if provided the minimum.

    For now, I would be more than happy if they make the cut to World Cup 2011.

  • Raj on June 2, 2008, 14:34 GMT

    Congratulations to the Afghan team. Keep up the good work. I am sure, in future, if the cricket stays on course we might see the most fierce fast bowlers from Afghanistan. As an Indian I am very proud of what Afghanistan has achieved in cricket. I hope Mr Sharad Powar and Mr Lalit Modi can share some of the BCCI's bounty for the development of the Afghan cricket.

  • Maiwand Majboor on June 2, 2008, 12:57 GMT

    Wonderful. Proud to be Afghan. It is extremely satisfying to see the national side so successful. The cricket team is the only source of hope for us. They have been able to reunite our shattered nation, they make the Afghan flag fly high in the skies around the world. It is the only thing that gives me hope of a brighter future.

    Now it is time the Afghan government realize to give support to the team. They should build Cricket grounds at least in the big four cities.

    It is also high time the ACC and ICC realize and support us. They should provide coaching, equipment and the much needed cash, which they have in abundance. They should also grant us the status of an associate member, remember we are still an affiliate member despite the fact that we crush every team that we play against.

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  • Maiwand Majboor on June 2, 2008, 12:57 GMT

    Wonderful. Proud to be Afghan. It is extremely satisfying to see the national side so successful. The cricket team is the only source of hope for us. They have been able to reunite our shattered nation, they make the Afghan flag fly high in the skies around the world. It is the only thing that gives me hope of a brighter future.

    Now it is time the Afghan government realize to give support to the team. They should build Cricket grounds at least in the big four cities.

    It is also high time the ACC and ICC realize and support us. They should provide coaching, equipment and the much needed cash, which they have in abundance. They should also grant us the status of an associate member, remember we are still an affiliate member despite the fact that we crush every team that we play against.

  • Raj on June 2, 2008, 14:34 GMT

    Congratulations to the Afghan team. Keep up the good work. I am sure, in future, if the cricket stays on course we might see the most fierce fast bowlers from Afghanistan. As an Indian I am very proud of what Afghanistan has achieved in cricket. I hope Mr Sharad Powar and Mr Lalit Modi can share some of the BCCI's bounty for the development of the Afghan cricket.

  • Masood on June 2, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    As an Afghan, such an honor and reason to be proud of my country is a once-in-a-blue-moon commodity. Afghanistan has a rich history which most of its neighbors cannot boast about.

    But it is time for us to move on. We have to step in the future and such achievements, no matter how small they are, can serve as inspiration if nothing else. I wish my team all the best and will always pray for it not just because I am an Afghan, but because I see a potential child capable of achieving so much if provided the minimum.

    For now, I would be more than happy if they make the cut to World Cup 2011.

  • Ralph Zimmermann on June 2, 2008, 21:34 GMT

    Agree wholeheartedly with Maiwand Majboor - Afghanistan, rather like Bangladesh, has the fan-base and cricket culture to be successful, and should be given every support.

    Nepal, though, has been showing signs of promise and progress for years, but hasn't been exactly showered with generosity.

  • Ramin on June 3, 2008, 3:30 GMT

    Congratulations to our new afghan heroes .I my self in afghan and i am intrested in cricket also . Today i see my own country heroes showing full love to this wonderfull game .I am truly congratulate them for the good win . And i think my wish comes true that i can see my own country heroes playing in world cup 2011

  • Mushtaq Rahim on June 3, 2008, 4:26 GMT

    Great Wing! Extremely Proud to be an Afghan....

    Cricket world! We are surely going to offer a lot to this exciting game. Afghanistan has the ability of producing hundreds of fast bowlers, the beauty of cricket, and you will no more have to look for Shoaib Akhtar to produce pace. I assure you that world would forget Gilchrist, Afridi, Jayasuriya, Symonds, Dhoni..........after some time and Aussies would no more remain the most aggressive cricket team. However, we deserve to be supported by both ACC and ICC as we have been the most fast improving and growing cricket nation. Give half of the money you are spending on development of game in some of your associate member countries and you will soon find us competing with your top teams.

    If situation allows and world supports, we are soon going to be world beaters.

    Congratulations to all Afghans for the greatest achievement.

  • Mirwais on June 3, 2008, 20:54 GMT

    i don't have words to express my happiness but yeah my tears might show them :)....I am a big cricket fan and i wanted to see this day and i cant believe that it came so early than what i expected!......I just wish our heroes best of luck and my prayers and the whole nations prayers are with them

    Long Live Afghanistan

  • Danish, Karachi on June 3, 2008, 22:31 GMT

    Congratulations to Afghanistan for winning WCL. I am really glad with their achievement. For past few years they have been continuously improving and have showed a lot of courage on the field. I wish them very best of luck in the future and hope they make a cut in the World Cup of 2011.

  • Mustafa on June 4, 2008, 6:06 GMT

    congratulations to the Afghanistan cricket team and it makes the afghan people feel excited and i want to see the afghan cricket team in the 2011 world cup that's what most of the afghan people want to see inshahullah Mustafa from Australia

  • IBRAHIM on June 4, 2008, 7:57 GMT

    Congratulations for the Afghanistan national cricket team that beat jersey at their homeland and achieved division 5. i think they will qualify for the world cup 2011,if supported by other famous countries like India, Pakistan and Australia. They are spirited and have the potential so i would want the ICC and ACC to arrange a few matches for them and also support them financially. thank you cricinfo.