Afghanistan turn to Miandad for help
Afghanistan have approached the former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad to help them qualify for the 2011 World Cup in the subcontinent. The team won the World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 tournament in Argentina in January and booked their place in the World Cup qualifiers in South Africa this April.
Miandad quit as director general of the Pakistan Cricket Board last month and he's set to go to China in March as a cricket ambassador.
"I have been approached and since I greatly appreciate their rise in international cricket, I will definitely go there and help them get a place in the World Cup," Miandad told AFP. "Pakistan has always supported Afghanistan. Their team practiced in Lahore before they went to Argentina and as a Pakistan cricket official I did what I could do to help them.”
Afghanistan’s rise is remarkable for a war-ravaged nation and it’s no surprise they are a rage among the minnows. Pakistan have played a significant part in their growth, providing them training and equipment, something their own government failed to do. The team, which came together only in 2002, also won Divisions 4 and 5 in the WCL.
Afghanistan need to make it to the semi-finals in South Africa to ensure a place at the World Cup. Their first game is against Denmark on April 1 at Vanderbijlpark.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo