Afghanistan January 7, 2009

Afghanistan amongst famous names at Lahore camp

Tony Munro

Tony Munro

Afghanistan, sentimental favourites for this month's World Cricket League Division 3 tournament, are currently mingling with some famous names at their training camp in Lahore.

Leading batsman, Raees Ahmadzai, told Cricinfo this week that Shoaib Akhtar, Aamir Sohail, Rashid Latif, Ijaz Ahmed and Aaqib Javed, were amongst those providing guidance to the Afghans during the two week camp which finishes this Saturday.

Ahmadzai said the team had enjoyed the camp and the chance to tap into the expert knowledge of their mentors.

"We have discussed a lot of cricket,”Ahmadzai said. “Now the players are very relaxed, They feel better and look like complete cricketers. We worked a lot on temperament in camp. Our fast bowlers worked on how to control the new ball and batsmen on how we make partnerships to chase big targets."

Ahmadzai said the players were well rewarded after winning the WCL Division 4 title last year. "The Governor of Ningrahar Province [in the country's east] gave all the players land for houses."

During their march along the World Cricket League, Afghanistan won the Division 4 and Division 5 tournaments, playing 12 games, winning 10 and losing just one. They were unbeaten in the stronger Division 4 tournament. Standing in its way in Division 3 are Argentina, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea and Uganda, whom Afghanistan plays in its first match on January 24.