ICC World Cup Qualifiers April 17, 2009

'The most famous day in Afghanistan cricket' - Hassan

Hamid Hassan

It is the proudest day of my life knowing that I am going to have the opportunity to play one-day international cricket for Afghanistan. I feel absolutely wonderful – it is a brilliant achievement for our country.

A couple of years ago we could never have dreamed that we would have ever had the opportunity to play at the World Cup Qualifiers and now we are going to be a one-day international team. It is the most famous day in the history of Afghanistan cricket.

I was so proud to take the final wicket to seal the victory and when I realised what had happened I just threw myself to the floor and started crying. I have never felt so much emotion in my life and I just couldn’t control my tears.

These tears were for all the people in Afghanistan who have been supporting us as I know they will be so proud of our achievements and I want to thank everybody for all their inspiring messages in response to my columns. They have been a real boost to me and the team throughout the tournament.

To beat teams like Scotland, Ireland and Namibia in the Super Eight stages shows how far we have come as a cricket team in the past year and it is very important that we have a chance to play against the top Associate teams in ODI matches, as I think we have shown how much we have learnt just by taking part in this tournament.

We were not too disappointed that we didn’t qualify for the World Cup, as it was very important that we have the opportunity to play ODI cricket on a regular basis in the next four years, although I do hope that I will have a chance to play at that event one day.

I am also really looking forward to playing in the ICC Intercontinental Cup as I think that we will learn a lot from playing four-day cricket for Afghanistan. We will have a lot to learn, as we haven’t played that much one-day cricket, but we are all keen to learn as quickly as possible and do well against the top teams.

We will also be playing in the ICC World Twenty20 2010 Qualifier later this year and it would be amazing if we can qualify for the Caribbean next year.

My perfect day was also rounded off when I found out that my visa for the UK for this summer came through today, so I am going to be playing some club cricket in England this summer. That is very exciting and will be another great experience for my cricket career.

While we will obviously celebrate our achievements in reaching ODI status, what better way would there be to finish the tournament than if we beat Scotland on Sunday and come in fifth position. I am really determined for us to do well in that match.

Thank you again for all your support and I hope you will continue to follow the fortunes of our team as we begin to take the next step on our incredible cricket journey!

Hamid Hassan has been blogging the World Cup Qualifiers (and is an avid reader of your comments). Click here for more on his rise

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo