January 9, 2012

Afghanistan

I could have won the game

Cricinfo

Hamid Hassan came away with mixed memories from the ICC Combined XI match, claiming two key wickets but also needing a trip to hospital

Hamid Hassan celebrates the dismissal of Andrew Strauss, ICC Combined XI v England XI, Dubai, 2nd day, January 8, 2012
'My body is now pretty spectacular as I have some interesting coloured bruises, some of which are green, yellow and blue'  © Getty Images
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It has been a fairly eventful few days in Dubai for me, playing for the ICC Combined Associate and Affiliate XI against England, with the high of getting two of the best batsmen in the world out, followed by one of the biggest lows in my career, when I injured myself while fielding, which ruled me out of the rest of the game.

Day two of the match had started so well for me. I felt I was bowling quickly and accurately against England’s top order and was just trying to concentrate on not giving the batsmen any room. Hopefully the person who updates the statistics on Cricinfo will have been watching and will change my style of bowling to fast, rather than just medium-fast, on my player profile.

It was an amazing feeling to dismiss Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott and I felt I was capable of taking quite a few more wickets.

However, just as I was beginning to really enjoy myself, I then suffered my horrendous injury. I can remember running down to the boundary to try and stop a ball that had been hit by Alastair Cook and then suddenly realising the fence was getting near me, trying to jump over it, only to catch my leg, which brought me down to the ground. This meant I hit the tracks that they move the sightscreen on really heavily.

After that I think I must have blanked out, as my next memory is opening my eyes and feeling the pain in my legs – I couldn’t move them at all – and so I just lay on my back, with lots of people gathering around me to tell me to relax, keep calm, and not move. I then got carried off on a stretcher and was taken to hospital where I had a series of x-rays, which thankfully revealed no permanent damage, although that didn’t mean it has stopped hurting since.

My body is now pretty spectacular as I have some interesting coloured bruises, some of which are green, yellow and blue, but thankfully the doctors have said that after two weeks rest, I will be fine to resume training and so I should be on track to play against Pakistan next month in our ODI game at Sharjah.

I am really proud of the way the 12 players picked for the game did in representing the Associate and Affiliate world against the best test team in the world and I was following every ball on the internet from my hotel room once I came back from hospital.

I am particularly proud of my fellow countryman, with Mohammad Shahzad scoring half-centuries in both innings, and Mohammad Nabi bowling so well.

It made me so disappointed that I wasn’t on the field with the rest of the guys today as when England needed 60 to win with four wickets left, that would have been my perfect time to bowl and I think I could have won us the game with my yorkers, especially if the ball was reversing, but all our bowlers did really well.

It has made me extra determined to help Afghanistan qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 2012, as one of the qualifiers will get the chance to play against England in the group stages. It would be nice to have the chance to finish the job that I started and get the chance to beat England this year.

The overall experience this week, training and playing alongside some great players against some of the world’s finest, was an amazing one, and I feel I have learnt so much from the team coaches.

I really hope that there is another chance for the ICC Combined Associate/Affiliate XI to play against other Test teams, as I think we have shown we are good enough to compete, and perhaps one day even play a match with Test status. That would be like a dream for me.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.