World Cricket League January 31, 2009

Hamid Hassan - Thankful for a second chance

Hamid Hassan
19

Hamid Hassan

I can’t believe that our hopes of qualifying for the World Cup are still alive after yesterday’s dramatic finish against Cayman Islands.

We are used to having exciting conclusions to our matches, but when the opposition is 35-2 chasing only 63 to win after the target was reduced due to rain you never expect to get away with it and be able to start the match all over again.

But God seems to be on our side in this tournament and the torrential rain in Buenos Aires saved us from a terrible performance yesterday.

I never thought before this tournament that it would rain in Argentina – you only think of sunshine and Maradona when you think of the country – but thankfully we have another chance to beat Cayman Islands today.

There have been so many incredible matches and moments on our journey to the World Cup, it is amazing that when we haven’t performed as well as we should the weather seems to have saved us, like when it rained in Jersey in Division 5 which ruined Singapore’s qualification chances.

We need to improve on our batting, which hasn’t done particularly well at this tournament so far, as we seem to be taking too many risks early on rather than saving wickets for later in the innings.

As a bowler you always want to have some runs on the board to play with, but everybody seems to have struggled with the bat during the course of the tournament.

When the rain came down at 68 for 5, we spent so much time taking the covers off only to then have to put them back on again when the rain started again that I thought we never would get a chance to finish the match yesterday.

But then the early evening sunshine suddenly arrived and I knew we would struggle to defend the rain reduced target that Cayman Islands had to chase.

Kabir Khan, our coach, told us never to give up hope and I tried to bowl as fast as I could when opening the bowling – something I don’t normally do with the white ball but I knew that we needed to get wickets as quickly as possible.

I felt that I was bowling well and seem to be getting my pace back, but no matter how hard I tried I didn’t get much luck with my bowling and they scored two lucky fours off me towards third man and fine leg which left our opposition on the verge of victory until it started pouring with rain. Amazingly, the bright sunshine was out again by the time we got on the coach to go back home – we were so lucky!

When we got back to the hotel, I got phone calls from some of my friends in Afghanistan, even though it was the middle of the night back at home, telling me that we have to improve our performance tomorrow. It is great to have such passionate supporters and I enjoy the pressure of trying to raise the spirits of our people back at home. One of my best friends, who lives in New York, whose name is Rishen Patel, has also been telling me that he has been praying for us all the time and has promised me that he will come and watch all our matches in South Africa if we qualify from Division 3.

Quite simply, we know that we need to win today if we are to finish in the top two at this event and thankfully the weather in Buenos Aires this morning is sunny. Like all match days, I was awake very early this morning getting prepared for the game, and tried to relax by surfing the internet on the computers in the hotel reception.

Of course, we could still qualify if our net run rate is better than Uganda, so we will be hoping that Argentina wins its match, but we don’t want to rely on anybody else.

We are so close to reach the World Cup Qualifier in South Africa and I want to do everything I can to ensure that people back home in Afghanistan will have something to party about in the middle of the night.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Zafar Khan on February 23, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    I am a Pakistani and anything good I hear about Afghanistan fills my heart with joy. It will b so nice to have Afghan team in WC. All the best to Afghan brothers.

  • Chris Janik on February 8, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    Great fun playing you guys in Jersey! Good luck for the rest of your games! Will catch up during the next tourny! Send my regards to the rest of the team! Cheers

  • Basir Ahmed on February 5, 2009, 6:45 GMT

    Salaam and congratulations to all my dearest country men and specially to my talented, brave and hardworking Afghan cricket team i am not able to express my feelings and emotions my eyes got wet while reading all those great comments about my dearest country team from my friends all over the world and i thank them all for their support and hope they keep backing the Afghan cricket team in the future as well my dear Afghan cricket team! keep up the hard work, our prayers are with you winning and losing is a part of game what matters the most for us is your hard work and the honesty with which you should play the game wish you the best of luck and may Allah be with you your Afghan brother TAL DI WI ABAD AFGHANISTAN (LONG LIVE AFGHANISTAN)

  • Eng,Haroon (Kuwait) on February 3, 2009, 0:10 GMT

    congratulations to all of our nation and thanks to all those who supported our great heroes with their prayers and encouragements. I agree with Hamid's comment that batting has not shown their best and capability and surely that shall be taken in considerations by the responsible concerns in future matches.The batting has to be very careful specially in the beginning and the top order should be trained and guided to tackle the situations with different conditions specially weather conditions and pitch status on that specific day. I think Kabir khan is valuable and great addition to the side as coach and i believe that he have noted all the other weakness as well and well take an urgent corrective action.Great hamid i suggest you to share your reverse swing and fast yorkers technique with the coach because he has been also great fast bowler in cricket world. Once again i congratulate and appreciates the immense efforts put by all team members,really you deserve more and made us proud.

  • Mr Niaz Wali SAHAK on February 2, 2009, 17:19 GMT

    Wish u happy victory for all the Nation of Afghanistan and this is one of the biggest achievement for the history of Afghansistan .THANKS ALLAH .give the unity to all afghans.From London

  • Akram Chowdry on February 2, 2009, 10:18 GMT

    Congrats from people of Pakistan, feel so happy for you guys.

  • Spinghar Safi on February 1, 2009, 22:06 GMT

    congratulation to all Afghans around the world! we have now qualified for the world cup qualifying round and i would request South Africa and the ICC to provide few weeks of training camp for Afghan players in South Africa. And Hamid Hassan your my favorite bowler. I love the way you play!

  • Nail Miakhel on February 1, 2009, 18:03 GMT

    Congratulations to us all Afghanis and the team on winning the division and qualifying for the next tournament. We all are proud of the team, and great effort by all the players, and of course with a lot of prayers from around the world you guys are in touching distance of making it to the WC11 and getting ODI status. Hopefully you all even harder on your skills and be even better prepared for the next trophy and bouncy pitches in South Africa. Congratulations to all the team and all the fans around the world. Keep it up!!!

  • Fraser Stewart on February 1, 2009, 11:21 GMT

    Dear Hameed, Congratulations to you and your team-mates. I have been watching your progress carefully and I am delighted that you will now have a chance to qualify for the World Cup. Everyone at MCC is very happy with your progress since your spell on the Young Cricketers Scheme. I hope you got my text messages and the very best of luck with your preparations for the qualifying tournament. Let's hope that cricket continues to grow in Afghanistan. Fraser, London

  • Fawad on February 1, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    Congrats you have done it. People in Pakistan are following our neighbors, we are best placed to know about your predicament. See you in the World cup. Rain is on your side!

  • Zafar Khan on February 23, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    I am a Pakistani and anything good I hear about Afghanistan fills my heart with joy. It will b so nice to have Afghan team in WC. All the best to Afghan brothers.

  • Chris Janik on February 8, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    Great fun playing you guys in Jersey! Good luck for the rest of your games! Will catch up during the next tourny! Send my regards to the rest of the team! Cheers

  • Basir Ahmed on February 5, 2009, 6:45 GMT

    Salaam and congratulations to all my dearest country men and specially to my talented, brave and hardworking Afghan cricket team i am not able to express my feelings and emotions my eyes got wet while reading all those great comments about my dearest country team from my friends all over the world and i thank them all for their support and hope they keep backing the Afghan cricket team in the future as well my dear Afghan cricket team! keep up the hard work, our prayers are with you winning and losing is a part of game what matters the most for us is your hard work and the honesty with which you should play the game wish you the best of luck and may Allah be with you your Afghan brother TAL DI WI ABAD AFGHANISTAN (LONG LIVE AFGHANISTAN)

  • Eng,Haroon (Kuwait) on February 3, 2009, 0:10 GMT

    congratulations to all of our nation and thanks to all those who supported our great heroes with their prayers and encouragements. I agree with Hamid's comment that batting has not shown their best and capability and surely that shall be taken in considerations by the responsible concerns in future matches.The batting has to be very careful specially in the beginning and the top order should be trained and guided to tackle the situations with different conditions specially weather conditions and pitch status on that specific day. I think Kabir khan is valuable and great addition to the side as coach and i believe that he have noted all the other weakness as well and well take an urgent corrective action.Great hamid i suggest you to share your reverse swing and fast yorkers technique with the coach because he has been also great fast bowler in cricket world. Once again i congratulate and appreciates the immense efforts put by all team members,really you deserve more and made us proud.

  • Mr Niaz Wali SAHAK on February 2, 2009, 17:19 GMT

    Wish u happy victory for all the Nation of Afghanistan and this is one of the biggest achievement for the history of Afghansistan .THANKS ALLAH .give the unity to all afghans.From London

  • Akram Chowdry on February 2, 2009, 10:18 GMT

    Congrats from people of Pakistan, feel so happy for you guys.

  • Spinghar Safi on February 1, 2009, 22:06 GMT

    congratulation to all Afghans around the world! we have now qualified for the world cup qualifying round and i would request South Africa and the ICC to provide few weeks of training camp for Afghan players in South Africa. And Hamid Hassan your my favorite bowler. I love the way you play!

  • Nail Miakhel on February 1, 2009, 18:03 GMT

    Congratulations to us all Afghanis and the team on winning the division and qualifying for the next tournament. We all are proud of the team, and great effort by all the players, and of course with a lot of prayers from around the world you guys are in touching distance of making it to the WC11 and getting ODI status. Hopefully you all even harder on your skills and be even better prepared for the next trophy and bouncy pitches in South Africa. Congratulations to all the team and all the fans around the world. Keep it up!!!

  • Fraser Stewart on February 1, 2009, 11:21 GMT

    Dear Hameed, Congratulations to you and your team-mates. I have been watching your progress carefully and I am delighted that you will now have a chance to qualify for the World Cup. Everyone at MCC is very happy with your progress since your spell on the Young Cricketers Scheme. I hope you got my text messages and the very best of luck with your preparations for the qualifying tournament. Let's hope that cricket continues to grow in Afghanistan. Fraser, London

  • Fawad on February 1, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    Congrats you have done it. People in Pakistan are following our neighbors, we are best placed to know about your predicament. See you in the World cup. Rain is on your side!

  • dr. munir khan on February 1, 2009, 5:53 GMT

    i am very happy to see you guys doing well.i know you have a good coach in kabir khan.i played against him when i played for khyber medical college and he used to play for edwards college.i hope you guys make it to the world cup.remember healf the battle is won or lost in your mind,stay positive,and never be worried about your opponenets repute.good luck dr.munir khan florida,usa

  • Shakib Miakhel on February 1, 2009, 4:49 GMT

    Hey Guys!!!! I Thought Last night we gona lose to CYM LND, but thanks to GOD that send for us rain, but today you guy did very will in batting and bowling specialy Hassan you did the best in bowling, i m a cricket fun from KABUL, that i was tired to see India & Other Countris Matches regularly without any reason, but now i have a special Cricket team to watch and celebrate with their victory and be upset with their loss, so i am will praying for you guys too do better & your best in WCQ in South Africa, i hope you get the chance of 2011, INSHA..LA. Some thing i want to tell you is that, to Keep trying to Get atleast your Target above 250, less than 250 in WCQ means nothing, try in your batting a little bet. BEST OF LUCK & WISHES.

  • Ab. Basir Ahmadi on February 1, 2009, 4:29 GMT

    Basir Ahmadi from Kabul a friend of Nowroz Mangal and Hamid Hassan because of living in Zangali and Tehkal Peshawer,First of all I want to congratulate Afghani team and all Afghanis around the world for this remarkable achievement. And praying from almighty Allah to give more success to our poor country in the field of Cricket, can't express my feeling through this comments but extremely happy for this particular victory. all guys are playing very well with bat and ball if we see to our facilities which we have for our team in Afghanistan, they don’t have anything except their natural talent and praying of poor country men, and I am quite sure that willing Allah our team will qualify for world cup 2011, rain during the match on 30th was by self sign of help of almighty Allah with our team players and almighty Allah will boost us in the future as well, And have a request from our team players that keep in mind you people are playing for a war victim country and you people have to prove that sports and education can be the alternative of war.

    With best wishes, Ab. Basir Ahmadi HR Manager Kardan Institute of Higher Education Kabul, Afghanistan

  • suliman zazai on February 1, 2009, 2:50 GMT

    congrats to all afghans good job guys lets take to the next level ans show the world that we can do better jar de sham nabi jan for taking four wickets and hassan jan for three wickets and mr captain good batting jan

  • Israr on January 31, 2009, 22:34 GMT

    Very nice post, Hamid. I am a Pakistani living in the UK and I've been following your team's performance online although my friends were making fun of me. They thought I was crazy to follow these unknown teams. But I so passionately wanted you guys to win from the very first match of this tournament. Yesterday was really a very tense time; I was praying for rain to come. And I think it was all of your supporters' prayers that helped you guys out. And you haven't disappointed us today!!!!!!!!! I am sure now you guys will work even harder and bring more joy for your fellow afghans in South Africa. Khuday Pa Amaan. And dont forget to tell us how you guys celebrated your win today!!!!!!!

  • Israr on January 31, 2009, 22:29 GMT

    Very nice post, Hamid. I am a Pakistani living in the UK and I've been following your team's performance online although my friends were making fun of me. They thought I was crazy to follow these unknown teams. But I so passionately wanted you guys to win from the very first match of this tournament. Yesterday was really a very tense time; I was praying for rain to come. And I think it was all of your supporters' prayers that helped you guys out. And you haven't disappointed us today!!!!!!!!! I am sure now you guys will work even harder and bring more joy for your fellow afghans in South Africa. Khuday Pa Amaan.

    And dont forget to tell us how you guys celebrated your win today!!!!!!!

  • waqs on January 31, 2009, 22:28 GMT

    congrats,u have done amazingly well.i m ur neighbouring Pakistani n love to see u in next world cup.ur coach Kabir Khan is the person whom i watched n followed in my childhood although unluckily he was much overshadowed by legendary Akram.nw hit the bulls eye in South Africa.best wishes n best of luck for u guys.

  • Dominic Brown on January 31, 2009, 22:03 GMT

    Well Done Afganhistan people In NZ Hope to see you at the world cup in 2011

  • Michael Makin on January 31, 2009, 21:42 GMT

    I'm sure that I'm one of many thousands of neutrals round the world who've followed Afghanistan's progress in recent months with pleasure and admiration. I kept an eye on today's score as I sat at my desk working, and I'm delighted that the team has now made it through to the qualifiers. Things will be a lot harder from now on, but to have come so far and to overcome such obstacles is a fantastic achievement. And what a great story this has been, and continues to be. Many congratulations; I wish you all the very best of luck in South Africa, and so, I am sure, do many, many followers of the game.

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  • Michael Makin on January 31, 2009, 21:42 GMT

    I'm sure that I'm one of many thousands of neutrals round the world who've followed Afghanistan's progress in recent months with pleasure and admiration. I kept an eye on today's score as I sat at my desk working, and I'm delighted that the team has now made it through to the qualifiers. Things will be a lot harder from now on, but to have come so far and to overcome such obstacles is a fantastic achievement. And what a great story this has been, and continues to be. Many congratulations; I wish you all the very best of luck in South Africa, and so, I am sure, do many, many followers of the game.

  • Dominic Brown on January 31, 2009, 22:03 GMT

    Well Done Afganhistan people In NZ Hope to see you at the world cup in 2011

  • waqs on January 31, 2009, 22:28 GMT

    congrats,u have done amazingly well.i m ur neighbouring Pakistani n love to see u in next world cup.ur coach Kabir Khan is the person whom i watched n followed in my childhood although unluckily he was much overshadowed by legendary Akram.nw hit the bulls eye in South Africa.best wishes n best of luck for u guys.

  • Israr on January 31, 2009, 22:29 GMT

    Very nice post, Hamid. I am a Pakistani living in the UK and I've been following your team's performance online although my friends were making fun of me. They thought I was crazy to follow these unknown teams. But I so passionately wanted you guys to win from the very first match of this tournament. Yesterday was really a very tense time; I was praying for rain to come. And I think it was all of your supporters' prayers that helped you guys out. And you haven't disappointed us today!!!!!!!!! I am sure now you guys will work even harder and bring more joy for your fellow afghans in South Africa. Khuday Pa Amaan.

    And dont forget to tell us how you guys celebrated your win today!!!!!!!

  • Israr on January 31, 2009, 22:34 GMT

    Very nice post, Hamid. I am a Pakistani living in the UK and I've been following your team's performance online although my friends were making fun of me. They thought I was crazy to follow these unknown teams. But I so passionately wanted you guys to win from the very first match of this tournament. Yesterday was really a very tense time; I was praying for rain to come. And I think it was all of your supporters' prayers that helped you guys out. And you haven't disappointed us today!!!!!!!!! I am sure now you guys will work even harder and bring more joy for your fellow afghans in South Africa. Khuday Pa Amaan. And dont forget to tell us how you guys celebrated your win today!!!!!!!

  • suliman zazai on February 1, 2009, 2:50 GMT

    congrats to all afghans good job guys lets take to the next level ans show the world that we can do better jar de sham nabi jan for taking four wickets and hassan jan for three wickets and mr captain good batting jan

  • Ab. Basir Ahmadi on February 1, 2009, 4:29 GMT

    Basir Ahmadi from Kabul a friend of Nowroz Mangal and Hamid Hassan because of living in Zangali and Tehkal Peshawer,First of all I want to congratulate Afghani team and all Afghanis around the world for this remarkable achievement. And praying from almighty Allah to give more success to our poor country in the field of Cricket, can't express my feeling through this comments but extremely happy for this particular victory. all guys are playing very well with bat and ball if we see to our facilities which we have for our team in Afghanistan, they don’t have anything except their natural talent and praying of poor country men, and I am quite sure that willing Allah our team will qualify for world cup 2011, rain during the match on 30th was by self sign of help of almighty Allah with our team players and almighty Allah will boost us in the future as well, And have a request from our team players that keep in mind you people are playing for a war victim country and you people have to prove that sports and education can be the alternative of war.

    With best wishes, Ab. Basir Ahmadi HR Manager Kardan Institute of Higher Education Kabul, Afghanistan

  • Shakib Miakhel on February 1, 2009, 4:49 GMT

    Hey Guys!!!! I Thought Last night we gona lose to CYM LND, but thanks to GOD that send for us rain, but today you guy did very will in batting and bowling specialy Hassan you did the best in bowling, i m a cricket fun from KABUL, that i was tired to see India & Other Countris Matches regularly without any reason, but now i have a special Cricket team to watch and celebrate with their victory and be upset with their loss, so i am will praying for you guys too do better & your best in WCQ in South Africa, i hope you get the chance of 2011, INSHA..LA. Some thing i want to tell you is that, to Keep trying to Get atleast your Target above 250, less than 250 in WCQ means nothing, try in your batting a little bet. BEST OF LUCK & WISHES.

  • dr. munir khan on February 1, 2009, 5:53 GMT

    i am very happy to see you guys doing well.i know you have a good coach in kabir khan.i played against him when i played for khyber medical college and he used to play for edwards college.i hope you guys make it to the world cup.remember healf the battle is won or lost in your mind,stay positive,and never be worried about your opponenets repute.good luck dr.munir khan florida,usa

  • Fawad on February 1, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    Congrats you have done it. People in Pakistan are following our neighbors, we are best placed to know about your predicament. See you in the World cup. Rain is on your side!