Afghanistan June 2, 2008

Afghanistan president praises cricketers


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

  • testli5504537 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.

  • testli5504537 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!

  • testli5504537 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.

  • testli5504537 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.

  • testli5504537 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...

  • testli5504537 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

  • testli5504537 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.

  • testli5504537 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

  • testli5504537 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.

  • testli5504537 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.

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