May 2, 2010

World Twenty20

A whole new experience

Cricinfo

Hamid Hassan

It is hard to describe how I feel after our match against India. I am very proud of our team and the fact we gave a good account of ourselves in our opening match on the world stage. However, we do feel a bit disappointed that we didn’t play a bit better and that makes us even more determined to do well against South Africa in our next match.

At every tournament we have played in our extraordinary journey over the past couple of years, we have always learned from our mistakes, and I really hope that we can do this again, although it is obviously a lot harder when you are playing against the best in the world.

We lost against Singapore in World Cricket League Division 5 and went on to win the tournament, we were defeated by Uganda in Division 3 and also lifted the trophy there, and recovered from some early defeats at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in 2009 to come within touching distance of qualifying for that event. We are serious when we say we want to go and beat South Africa and qualify for the last eight of this competition.

We did find the batting conditions a bit difficult early on and obviously it was a challenge to deal with some of the Indian pace bowlers, who are much quicker than what we are used to facing.

It would have been interesting to see what may have happened if India had lost the toss and had to bat first, but I thought Noor Ali batted brilliantly to score a half-century. It was just a shame we lost too many wickets towards the end, as at one stage we did look like we were going to get a bigger score.

I thought Shapoor Zadran bowled really well and I was also pleased with my efforts. I just focused on trying to bowl a good length, vary my pace, and tried to bowl as many dot balls as I could manage. Although I was obviously pleased to get a wicket, it was just unfortunate the match had pretty much been lost by that stage.

We have obviously been used to playing in front of some big crowds before, particularly at the qualifier for this event when we had thousands of Afghans cheering us on in Dubai, but I don’t think I have ever played in an atmosphere quite like the one in St Lucia today.

The music is blaring from the PA system, there are people screaming and dancing, there are lots of musical instruments and it looks like people are having a party in stands!

One of the other major differences is that I had never played a match where they show the game live on the big screen in the ground with video replays. When I dropped my catch I just couldn’t help looking at the screen again, to see what went wrong. At least if I dropped a catch when I was playing in the World Cricket League Division 5, I wouldn’t have to watch it being shown over and over again to everybody, so there are some disadvantages in us becoming famous!

It was great to receive messages from friends, family and supporters, telling us how they thought we had done really well. It is crazy to think how passionate our supporters are when most of them would never have had a chance to see us play until today. I hope we did them proud.

We may have lost, but we all tried our hardest, and I will never ever forget the day when I played for my country against India at the ICC World Twenty20.

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Posted by Danish on (May 11, 2010, 11:37 GMT)

Dear Hamid jana, Thanks and we are proud of you all. wish you all do best in your future.

thanks,

Posted by mubasher on (May 6, 2010, 17:22 GMT)

Who is guest? hamid hassan is the best.

Posted by Doug Nicholson on (May 5, 2010, 7:58 GMT)

Hamid..Been reading about your team's progress on Cricinfo site for some time. Now this week in the Sydney Morning Herald. Dream the impossible dream...Under lights at the MCG v Australia, Well done.

Posted by Jayaram Choudhary on (May 4, 2010, 22:31 GMT)

Good work so far guys .... especially Noor Ali and yourself ... I wish u All the best for the big match with South Africa

We are going to sit here and cheer for u from India. We wish to see you guys in super 8 ... I know that you are going to make Afghans proud, the way Dhoni did it to us .... Wish u All success ..

Posted by Ehsan on (May 3, 2010, 20:05 GMT)

First of all congratulations to the afghan team, I am extremely proud that my country is represented in a major sports tournament. I would also like to commend all the indians commenting as I am overjoyed by some of your reactions. I did not expect this amid the pak/ind tensions. This shows how sport can unite people. I pray we all have a succesfull world cup and enjoy some great cricket.

Salam

Posted by chpoun on (May 3, 2010, 17:49 GMT)

Thank you Thank you thank you indian brothers for your nice comments. An Afghan

Posted by Paolo on (May 3, 2010, 14:26 GMT)

Hamid, you did very well to compete against India. but i think, your players need to improve your fielding. Your slackness in the fielding area amounted almost 10-20 runs more to the opposite team. Otherwise, i am impressed with your team. you have got magnificent body structures. in ten years time, who knows, you will beat the top nations of the world.

Posted by biso on (May 3, 2010, 14:07 GMT)

I am amazed to see the passion of the Afghan fans. The reaction of the afghan fans is a humbling experience.I know that cricket infrastructure will take a long time to develop and therefore the sub continent's countries will have to do their bit and provide opportunities as the talent is very much there. I will not be surprised when , with some encouragement, we see a few tearaway fast bowlers developing in Afghanistan.

Posted by Joe on (May 3, 2010, 9:51 GMT)

Hamid,

You guys rocked yesterday. You made india earn hard their victory. As an Indian fan I always want India being tested by strong teams, you guys really gave a test to India. What I liked about you guys, is the character you had, cool and composed, not carried away by any moment. India had lot to learn from you guys yesterday. You guys are not far from international glory. I bet, some of you going to be travelling to India next year for IPL and scare many.

Posted by Jon on (May 3, 2010, 9:37 GMT)

Hamid, Afghanistan represent one of the greatest ever examples of triumph over adversity. You may have lost one game but you were not humiliated. Keep your spirit's high and you will only get better!

I hope we shall see you in England soon. Jon

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