February 9, 2010

Afghanistan

Hamid Hassan blog - I can't wait for the action to begin

Sahil Dutta

Hamid Hassan

We are very excited ahead of the World Twenty20 Qualifier after a very good tour of Sri Lanka, where, even though we didn’t win every game, we played well in some of our matches.

Nobody knows what will happen in Twenty20 cricket – we are just all determined to do our best and all contribute whether it is with the bat, the ball or in the field. We were bitterly disappointed to miss out on qualification for next year’s 50-over World Cup, even though we did really well to progress through the World Cricket League, so people at home are really willing us to do well.

They want to watch us play on television in a big international tournament against the likes of England, India and South Africa. The Under-19 team had a chance to play on television during the Under-19 World Cup and the senior team wants to have a taste of the action as well.

We are a much more experienced team than when we played at the World Cup Qualifier last year. We owe a lot to our coach, Kabir Khan, and we have played so much cricket in the past year we feel more comfortable dealing with high pressure situations.

Our fielding has improved a lot compared to when we first played in the World Cricket League and our batting and bowling has developed as well.

I have always enjoyed playing Twenty20 cricket – it is a good challenge for a bowler and if I get the chance to bat I like hitting the ball a long way. I really enjoyed my innings at the ACC event last year when I hit 10 off the final two balls to win a match against the UAE.

The UAE is somewhere that I enjoy playing my cricket and I had a good record with the ball at the ACC Twenty20 last year. I like the wickets, I am used to the warm weather – it is similar to home – and I like spending time in Dubai. Our hotel is not very near any of the shops, but I would like to have a chance to go the shopping malls here if I can as I love to go shopping.

We are expecting to have lots of support, as there are lots of Afghan people living in the UAE, and lots of people came to watch us at the ACC event. I know that my hero, Andrew Flintoff, lives in Dubai and it would be my dream if he came to watch me play in one of the games this week and see me bowl. I have watched him play many times for England on the television, so it would be very special if he came to see me.

I am really looking forward to our first game. It will be a tough challenge on Tuesday against Ireland, who played very well to beat us in Sri Lanka, although some of our players were carrying injuries so perhaps we couldn’t fight as well as normal.

Even though we made a disappointing total, we made them work very hard for their runs, so we are still feeling confident for when we play them at Sports City. After all the preparation and warm-ups, I can’t wait for the action to begin.

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Sahil Dutta is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Ashwin on (February 10, 2010, 6:17 GMT)

Congratulations for your win against Ireland. All the best for the rest of the tournament. I would also love to see you people playing on the television. I know you people can do it.

Posted by Kaushik (from India) on (February 10, 2010, 6:16 GMT)

Hi Hamid and the rest of the Afghan team, Best wishes and my prayers with your team. Hope to see you in the World Cup this year and perform well there as well.You have made your country and the sporting world proud with your achievements under adversity.

Posted by Wais Kakar on (February 10, 2010, 6:03 GMT)

congratulation to you and all afghans superb bowling by you guys and great batting by Nabi keep it up our prayers are with you guys inshallah our heroes will qualify for T20 world cup

Posted by Naseer on (February 10, 2010, 5:56 GMT)

Congratulation for a well-fighted and committed victory, it shows the commitment and passion of Afghan team, the aggression, hard work and most improtantly the accelerated improvment in all areas of the games are credintals that made the team to defeat tournament's favortes. but there are still areas for improvements, like the idea of opening bowling with Shapoor does not look to be working, instead if Hamid opens the bowling it would be a perfect bowling attack, also the batsmen should work on establishing partnerships, even in T20s keeping wickets are the key for posting a challenging scores, and bowlers should not be always put under pressure to defend paltry scores, because top international teams would not forgive even a single minor slip up!

Posted by rabbani wardak on (February 10, 2010, 4:19 GMT)

Dear Hamid jana, we all are really very proud of you all. You guys proved that we are a great nation. This fairytale of Afghan cricket emergence in international cricket continues. In yesterday match Nabi was the real Hero for both ball and bat. He is a real talent among so many others talented guys. You are the next generation of Shoib Akhtar and you speed would win so many matches for the country. We all are following the game very closely and even the children and cheered up for you guys. keep it up and see you live in TV in May. Hope you would repeat what Ireland has done in the last world cup to upset a heavey weight and cruise to quarter final and semi final inshallah..be positive it is possible it is Twenty-20..you can do it, yes you can....Wasalam

Posted by Adro Gul Stanikzai on (February 10, 2010, 3:56 GMT)

yesterday win was the best win, because these moments are so special, because the finalist of this tournment will definitely play in the coming T20 World Cup, and all Afghans have been praying and are really eager to watch Afghan National Cricket Team in the TV (Live). so yesterday's game was a a special one and best start to the tournment, and i would really love to see my country team in the TV. best of luck hameed and all players,

Posted by Bakhtiar Husain Khail on (February 10, 2010, 2:35 GMT)

Salam and warm congratulations to Afghan Cricket Team and the brave Afghan nation, we are proud of you guys thanks to keep the name and flag of Afghanistan on top we are keen to see this team live on TV playing with major teams even it is T20 or other formats inshallah Afghanistan will qualify for world cup, and i request to all Afghans where ever they are to keep their fingers crossed and pray to Afghan team to qualify it is my wish and dream to see this team against the top eight teams of the world wish you best luck in the tournament thankful to all the team and Coach Kabir Khan for hardwork

Posted by daud on (February 9, 2010, 23:52 GMT)

salam. very well done afghan-heroes in era of cricket. it was a crucial game and u won and i am pretty sure that u guys are capable of quilifying to wc t2o. good luck. regards ur brother daud

Posted by Habibullah Wajdi on (February 9, 2010, 23:02 GMT)

Dear Hamid, Thank you, and all other Afghan cricket team players who have already done so much, and are continuing to do much for Afghanistan, particularly for the youngsters. Many children will get inspirations from your games, and will develop national pride as well as sportsmanship spirit to keep away from drugs and other social evils. For country like Afghanistan, such activities are so important for young minds to also keep away from terrors and stress of conflict, and amid lots of problems get chance to celebrate some positive activities. In this sense, you have done so much which I wish some of our politicians could do for Afghanistan. My prayers and best wishes are with you for further successes. Zwandi au abad hosay.

Posted by hamed from FINLAND on (February 9, 2010, 21:03 GMT)

good to see our team in way of success , inshahalah we will play in world t20 , inshahlah , good luck guys

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Dutta
Assistant editor Sahil Dutta grew up supporting England during the 90s. Despite this, he still enjoys the game. His unrequited passions for Graeme Hick and, in latter years, Vikram Solanki gave him a stoicism that guided him through an Economics degree and a stint working at the European Parliament. He maintains the purest love for Tests and the whims of legspin bowling and still harbours hope that he could be the answer to England's long search for a mystery spinner. As it is, his most exciting cricketing experience was planning a trip to Australia for the 2006-07 Ashes with two utterly indifferent friends. Unfortunately his lung collapsed shortly before his planned departure and the pair were left to wander around from Test to Test, unprepared and clueless. Any comparisons with England are far too obvious to make. That cancelled holiday inspired an Ashes blog which led, via some tea-making at the Wisden Cricketer, to the ESPNcricinfo towers.

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