March 31, 2009

ICC World Cup Qualifiers

It's unbelievable that we are here

Cricinfo

Hamid Hassan, the Afghanistan bowler, blogs for Cricinfo from the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa.

I am very happy we are in the qualifiers and that we are one step away from playing at the 2011 World Cup. We will try our best to qualify for the Super Eight stages of the competition and, hopefully, we can do well.

It is unbelievable that we are here, as we started in Division 5 of the World Cricket League last year when there were 12 teams and everybody said the USA and Jersey were the favourites for that tournament. Nobody really expected us to do well, and we didn’t expect that much as we knew we were playing against some very good teams who had played at a much higher level than us.

Our victory over Nepal in the semi-final of Division 5 was amazing and we grew in confidence when we won a dramatic final against Jersey. We went away after that event and worked really hard at our game and did very well in Division 4 in Tanzania which we also won. Division 3 was much tougher and we lost our first match against Uganda, but bounced back with some really good performances, which meant we needed to beat the Cayman Islands in our last match to qualify.

I still don’t know how we managed to get away with that match, as Cayman Islands were on the edge of victory, when the rain suddenly intervened and the match was abandoned. We played much better the following day and our victory meant we had emerged winners the Division 3 tournament.

I have been happy with how our preparations in South Africa have gone and it was good to get a win against Oman on Saturday in our final warm-up match, having lost to Ireland earlier in the week. We had spent the weekend in Johannesburg, where we were staying in the same hotel complex as the Australian and South African teams, which was amazing. I managed to see quite a few famous players including Ricky Ponting, Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin.

On Monday we travelled down to our new hotel base and we are now finalising our preparations for our first game on Wednesday. It is very important for us to win our first two matches; if we do that, we know it will be easier to play our other matches. We are hoping to win our first two games against Denmark and Bermuda and we will then see how we do against the Netherlands, UAE and Kenya.

It is our dream to play in the World Cup and we are hoping to do the best we can in this tournament.

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Posted by JimmyBean on (October 1, 2009, 11:35 GMT)

I don't know If I said it already but ...This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I'm glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

A definite great read..Jim Bean

Posted by Syed Abdul Wahab Khost on (April 17, 2009, 6:33 GMT)

We are very proud of young and talented team, you have perfomed well and we still hope to get through the 2011 world cup but what needed is to beat Namibia with a big margin we pray for you and wish our team all the best.May God help you in today's mathch.Best wishes and best luck guys.

Posted by Nasrat on (April 6, 2009, 11:52 GMT)

its great to see Afghanistan playing cricket as international level, despite numerous problem in the country like economically, politically, my wish and hope is to see them in up comming world cup of 2011. Nasrat jabal saraj

Posted by Gul Khan on (April 5, 2009, 7:28 GMT)

Assalaam-o-alaikum, I have seen you in Peshawar.You guys are really hardworking.You Coach Nadeem Khan was an excellent Left arm bowler of his days[Ex Pakistani Player].I hope Inshallah you guys will qualify for the next worlcup.But you have to do real hard work against netherland, UAE as you guys already lost to Kenya. Wish You guys Best of Luck. Allah Hafiz

Posted by Sayed Omer on (April 4, 2009, 17:13 GMT)

good luck guys we are praying for our team to qualify for 2011 and play in india we hope our champs will do it omer from kabul

Posted by Tameem Nekzai on (April 4, 2009, 0:03 GMT)

Good luck Team Afghanistan. I grew up rooting for other countries and cities and this is first time ever in my life that I am following my country in cricket. Words can not express my feelings but it is an amazing feeling to follow your national team in international competetion. I would love to see Afghanistan in WC2011

GO AFGHANISTAN GO!!!!!

Posted by Tameem Nekzai on (April 4, 2009, 0:03 GMT)

Good luck Team Afghanistan. I grew up rooting for other countries and cities and this is first time ever in my life that I am following my country in cricket. Words can not express my feelings but it is an amazing feeling to follow your national team in international competetion. I would love to see Afghanistan in WC2011

GO AFGHANISTAN GO!!!!!

Posted by Spinghar Safi on (April 3, 2009, 6:37 GMT)

2nd win for Afghanistan against Barmuda...congrats to you and hope you win your most important match against Kenya and we are then in super 8!

Posted by Haji Mohammad on (April 3, 2009, 6:29 GMT)

Congrats to Afghanistan cricket team for the two victories. We hope they make a upset over KENYA on Saturday to confirm their place in the next round. We all pray for you AFGHANISTAN.....

Posted by Ian on (April 3, 2009, 2:10 GMT)

What a remarkable story this is. Afghanistan a strife torn country has something very positive to cheer about. I want to wish them all the best for the Qualifiers. Just read that so far they're 2 wins from 2 Congrats to you.

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