January 27, 2009

Afghanistan

Hamid Hassan - I need to learn Spanish

Will Luke

Hamid Hassan

We are all so relieved that we managed to beat Hong Kong on Sunday to get ourselves back into the tournament and give us a chance of getting a place in the World Cup Qualifiers.

Our matches against Hong Kong are always very close and it was another tense finish; I was praying after every ball towards the end that we would be able to take the final wicket. It was such a relief when we finally got out Nadeem Ahmed. I was thinking in the field of all the people back in Afghanistan who would be praying for us to do well and that was a real inspiration as well for the team.

The first game against Uganda was very disappointing, as we didn’t bat very well, even though we did almost end up winning the game in the end after Rais’s fantastic innings.

When I went into bat and we still needed 30 to win, I didn’t really think I had that much chance of winning the match but I gave it my best effort.

I don’t feel that I have bowled as well as I could have during the course of this tournament. I injured myself a couple of months ago and couldn’t bowl as many overs as I would have liked in the build-up to this event. However, against Hong Kong I finally felt like that I am beginning to find my rhythm and I am hoping that I will be able to bowl at full pace today.

I managed to cut out my no-balls and bowl a much better line and length and I enjoyed the bouncy Belgrano wicket.

Everybody is asking me why I am not bowling my yorkers in this tournament, which worked well for me in Division 4, but I don’t want to bowl them at the moment as I don’t want to over pitch and get hit for six.

The level of interest back at home is amazing and I am getting e-mails and phone calls all the time from people in Afghanistan. I have been told that on the television at home, all the news bulletins have the score update on the screen every minute to keep everybody updated. Some of the radio shows also update the scores all the time, while I know my family follow the scores on the internet.

I have really enjoyed Argentina and the people in Buenos Aires have been extremely hospitable to us. I don’t think that many of them have ever met anybody from Afghanistan before and because I speak good English I have had to do lots of television interviews, although I think I will need to learn some more Spanish!

If we manage to get promoted from Division 3, I want to go back to the market that we went to on the tournament rest day and buy some things to celebrate. I am confident we can win our final three matches and it would be very exciting if we can reach the World Cup Qualifiers. I don’t want to look too much further ahead than that at the moment and instead just concentrate on doing well in Argentina.

Hamid Hassan is the Afghanistan fast bowler

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Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Maseh Sadiqi on (February 12, 2009, 19:37 GMT)

Me and my little brother are both mad keen about cricket and we play cricket for Oxfordshire county. i play for their under 16s and my brother for under 14s. since we have heard about AFGHANISTAN cricket, we dream 24-7 about playing for my country.

Posted by rajan sharma on (February 2, 2009, 11:23 GMT)

i m a big fan of this afgani team.i want to see them live on the television in 2011 world cup.. hope they will win the qualifying tournaments best of luck to afghanistan

Posted by kandahar on (February 2, 2009, 0:45 GMT)

well done to the boys for achieving what they have. it will be a dream come true if i see Afghanistan in the world cup after what Afghanistan has and is going through.

Posted by Hedayatullah on (January 31, 2009, 22:26 GMT)

Congratulation to all afghans and the fans of afghan cricket team !!!!!!!!!! you have done a great job with having a hit-trick of three divisions and hopefully to see you in the world cup my best wishes for you

Posted by Iqbal Miakhil on (January 31, 2009, 21:16 GMT)

MY dear Hassan we are proud of you.It was Nabi,Nowrooz and yourself who gave us championship at division 3.

Posted by Mohammad Tariq on (January 31, 2009, 8:22 GMT)

I know that u will be so happy along with all the Afghans in Afghanistan or anywhere around the world, its Tariq who used to play with u guys in Peshawar KMC medical ground, my prayers are always with u guys, make us proud and make ourselves proud too. thanks for the happiness u guys have given us Thanks again. see u inshallah soon with lot of happiness

Posted by Idris on (January 31, 2009, 8:00 GMT)

first of all Welldone guys, That last match against Cayman Islands was realy close. I think our prayers have been answered and down came rain to save the team from losing. Inshallah we will win today and get to the final. According to the Net Run Rate (NRR) Afghanistan is still first if today they win by any margin they are guaranteed a place in final. Lets just pray they get through this match easily.

Posted by Ateequllah HAYAT on (January 30, 2009, 22:12 GMT)

We Love You Afghanistan

Posted by Ahad on (January 30, 2009, 19:27 GMT)

Guys: We are all proud of you and your commitment to take Afghanistan to ICC world Cup. Best wishes.

Afghan from Washington DC. US

Posted by Shafeeq Mohammad on (January 30, 2009, 6:19 GMT)

i cried with joy when i saw our brothers had beaten Guinea! Everyone here at home is following you closely, and we are cheering that the world will know Afghans may be in tough times, but our spirit will always be. Go to South Africa and win a few games, and Afghanistan will celebrate because our flag will fly high in 2011!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Luke
Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.

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