Asian Games 2010, final, Guangzhou November 26, 2010

Afghan coach says he used India example to inspire team

ESPNcricinfo staff
34

Afghanistan coach Rashid Latif has said he inspired his team for the Asian Games final against Bangladesh by narrating how underdogs India beat the all-conquering West Indies to win the 1983 World Cup. "The Indians were not as fit as their rivals, nor was their skill superior to the West Indies, yet on that day they played better and won," Latif told AFP. "My team here was the fittest and they had good skills too, but I warned the boys not to take Bangladesh lightly."

Having stunned favourites Pakistan in the semi-final yesterday, Afghanistan proved worthy opponents against Bangladesh, taking the final to the last over before losing by five wickets.

Latif, the former Pakistan wicketkeeper, said Afghanistan's ultimate aim was to play Test cricket. "The result proved me right, but I am happy we are on the right path. We will improve further if we play the big teams regularly. The aim is to be a Test nation soon and play against the best. I want to bring youngsters into the game so the sport continues to grow in Afghanistan."

Afghanistan have made rapid strides, rising through the ranks from the lower divisions of the World Cricket League. They played in the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean earlier this year and narrowly missed qualifying for the 2011 World Cup.

Mohammad Nabi, the Afghanistan captain, said passion for the game kept the players going. "The war has been going on for three decades, but we have been playing cricket there for the last 10 years despite the lack of proper facilities or grounds. Cricket has caught on back home. More people are playing the game or following it on radio and TV."

Nabi was disappointed to lose the final, but said the silver medal had buoyed his team for the five-day Intercontinental Cup final against Scotland in Dubai from December 2. "We want to play as much as possible, wherever possible. The aim is to join the big league."

Afghanistan received backing from Bangladesh, who won their country's first ever Asian Games gold medal. "We are celebrating, but I hope Afghanistan will celebrate too because they deserve the silver medal," Imran Sarwar, the Bangladesh coach, said. "They are a very good side and I am sure they will become a top team in the near future. Their rise has been remarkable.

"This was not an easy win at all. We expected them to make around 100 or 110, but they went to 118 and then kept us under pressure till the end."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 30, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    WELL.....THANKS TO ALL MY INDIAN & BANGLADESHI & OTHER FRIENDS FOR SUPPORTING AFGHAN TEAM......:-)

  • KORBAN on November 27, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    I am Bangladeshi. I am proud for our golden boys. They won 1st gold medal of the history of Asian game. I want that they all time will play well and will win any team of the cricket world.

  • on November 27, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    @gmukhtadir...do you want Latif to enable them to beat all teams in 2, 3 months and win the World Cup? Who do you suggest for their coaching?

  • Baundele on November 27, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    Kabir Khan is the main man who helped the Afgan cricket to improve at this level. He brought the ODI status from the division five level. And now Rashid Latif, appointed as the head coach only after August, 2010, is in the lime-light through all his nonsense comments. I bet most of the people who are praising Rashid Latif so highly for his contribution to Afgan cricket do not even know the name of Kabir Khan.

  • LoveTheGame on November 27, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Typical Cricinfo page....when you do not have anything against pakistan players start it against former players and that too for something which does not exist. If the comments are actually coming from Bangladeshis, its a big surprise because it was Pakistan that helped them get the test status. Obviously Bangladesh worked hard but hard work alone is not enough in this world.

  • Robin_BD on November 27, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    I am a Bangladeshi. I am really proud of my Afghan brother. GOO BROTHERS.

  • Chaltis on November 27, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    Rashid will always be condemned for his cheating against Bangladseh in Multan test, but he would also be appreciated for turning Afghanistan into a fighting team. I am sure they will defeat India within 2/3 unless India denies to play against them and will surely beat teams like Bangladesh, Australlia within 10 years time. Good to see that Indians have appointed some "clap-boys" with English names behind their "Kawali" who keeps souting foul against Bangladesh.

  • on November 27, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Good job by Rashid....to compete and beat a team like Paksitan (even though a second string team) is just enough to show the remarkable progress of Afghan team.. we Indians are fully behind this Afgan tean and we are very very happy to see such a good team fighting with all the limitations...i hope they are going to be a better team than even Bangladesh within a few years time and would possess a serious threat to all the big names in cricket...good luck to Rashid and Afgan team as a whole....u rockssss

  • pallabi27 on November 27, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    Rashid Latif's sarcastic and arrogant remark will always gear up Bangladeshi cricketers which is very good for us. The more aggresive remarks he will make the more burning spirit will be there for us. He will shout with his mouth and we will shout with our bat and ball.

  • Chaltis on November 27, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    Don misunderstand Latif! I beg you guys! He didn't want to mean it that way. Remember the famous jokes of Inzi ragarding his wife's giving birth to a child and the heroics contribution of Afrid! Ha ha ha! In fact he wanted his students to play their best by saying, 'Don take them lightly".

  • on November 30, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    WELL.....THANKS TO ALL MY INDIAN & BANGLADESHI & OTHER FRIENDS FOR SUPPORTING AFGHAN TEAM......:-)

  • KORBAN on November 27, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    I am Bangladeshi. I am proud for our golden boys. They won 1st gold medal of the history of Asian game. I want that they all time will play well and will win any team of the cricket world.

  • on November 27, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    @gmukhtadir...do you want Latif to enable them to beat all teams in 2, 3 months and win the World Cup? Who do you suggest for their coaching?

  • Baundele on November 27, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    Kabir Khan is the main man who helped the Afgan cricket to improve at this level. He brought the ODI status from the division five level. And now Rashid Latif, appointed as the head coach only after August, 2010, is in the lime-light through all his nonsense comments. I bet most of the people who are praising Rashid Latif so highly for his contribution to Afgan cricket do not even know the name of Kabir Khan.

  • LoveTheGame on November 27, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Typical Cricinfo page....when you do not have anything against pakistan players start it against former players and that too for something which does not exist. If the comments are actually coming from Bangladeshis, its a big surprise because it was Pakistan that helped them get the test status. Obviously Bangladesh worked hard but hard work alone is not enough in this world.

  • Robin_BD on November 27, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    I am a Bangladeshi. I am really proud of my Afghan brother. GOO BROTHERS.

  • Chaltis on November 27, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    Rashid will always be condemned for his cheating against Bangladseh in Multan test, but he would also be appreciated for turning Afghanistan into a fighting team. I am sure they will defeat India within 2/3 unless India denies to play against them and will surely beat teams like Bangladesh, Australlia within 10 years time. Good to see that Indians have appointed some "clap-boys" with English names behind their "Kawali" who keeps souting foul against Bangladesh.

  • on November 27, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Good job by Rashid....to compete and beat a team like Paksitan (even though a second string team) is just enough to show the remarkable progress of Afghan team.. we Indians are fully behind this Afgan tean and we are very very happy to see such a good team fighting with all the limitations...i hope they are going to be a better team than even Bangladesh within a few years time and would possess a serious threat to all the big names in cricket...good luck to Rashid and Afgan team as a whole....u rockssss

  • pallabi27 on November 27, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    Rashid Latif's sarcastic and arrogant remark will always gear up Bangladeshi cricketers which is very good for us. The more aggresive remarks he will make the more burning spirit will be there for us. He will shout with his mouth and we will shout with our bat and ball.

  • Chaltis on November 27, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    Don misunderstand Latif! I beg you guys! He didn't want to mean it that way. Remember the famous jokes of Inzi ragarding his wife's giving birth to a child and the heroics contribution of Afrid! Ha ha ha! In fact he wanted his students to play their best by saying, 'Don take them lightly".

  • tfjones1978 on November 27, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    Ireland and Afgan should be given temp full membership and promoted to test cricket, along with Ireland and the return of Zimbarbwe. Bang, Zimb, Irel and Afgan in addition to test cricket should also play in a 12 team ICup (teams 9 to 20) over 4 years with the top 2 associate countries then replacing Irel & Afgan as test teams 11 & 12 with temp full membership for 4 years. The ICup matches should be 5 day matches and be classified as "Test A" matches (higher then first class, lower then test cricket) with Semi final and final at the end of the 4 years. This will allow the expansion of test cricket and decrease the problems between Test cricket and Associate four day cricket. Also, warm up matches prior to a test series should be against the top associate country nearby, instead of host domestic teams, but on host pitches. Warm ups should be 3 or 4 days: in Eng (vs Irel/Neth), in SA/Zim (vs Ken), in WI (vs Canada), in Asia (vs Afgan), in Aust/NZ (vs ??).

  • BoomBoom_Khan on November 27, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    I am an Afghan and am very proud of my boys. At the same time I want to thank Rashid for polishing the boy's skills and bring the best out of them. To all of you out there who criticize Rashid without knowing him is just wrong. He is a man of his words who knows cricket inside out and has been running the National cricket Academy for Pakistan for so many years now and that is the sort of academy that has produced big names for international cricket. I know there are a lot of grievances but on ordinary people level I have not met a single Paki who is unhappy about Afg. progress and especially in Cricket. May be cricket will bring the change in political atmosphere as well. Don't hate, appreciate!

  • on November 27, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    whoever is talking about Rashid latifs poor coaching skill must see the match first before barking and making a non sense comment, the guy who has hit the match winning runs was plumb out at the crucial time when Bangladesh was struggling to score, umpiring cause Afghanistan the match, other wise it was going in the favor of bangaladesh,

    the guy who plumb out but umpire gave it not out then the next bowl he bowled was hit to six, four then six.

    for me it was Afghanistan who should win.

  • Baundele on November 27, 2010, 2:40 GMT

    If Afganistan wants to go anywhere near test cricket, they need to get rid of talking birds like Rashid Latif. He tried his stupid best to undermine Bangladesh saying the Afgan team is better than the current Bangladesh team as the reason why the Afgans should get the test status. And now, he is undermining a great achievement of the Indian cricket. To inspire one team, you do not have to undermine the others. His comment about 'not talking Bangladesh lightly' proves he talks nonsense only. Where on earth a weaker team takes a stronger team lightly? In Rashid Latif's book only. Bangladeshis are well-wishers of Afgan cricket; but the clown is trying his best to bitter that wishes.

  • gmukhtadir on November 27, 2010, 1:13 GMT

    Afghanistan needs a new and good coach. Ideally Rashid Latif is not a perfect coach.

  • on November 27, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    Afghanistan will be the topmost t20 team in ASIA in n a few yrs i hope........ i also hope Nepal, China, Japan, malaysia to rise fast............

  • bharath74 on November 26, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    Congratulations to Afghans and Rashid Latif. Pakistan need ppl like Rashid Latif, Imran Khan, Abdul Quadir ... to get into PCB and save its cricket. Any body can teach cricket but good teacher is one who motivate his students to play gud cricket irrespective of the situation or result: thats what Rashid Latif's Afghanistan did. Congratulations Afghanistan.

  • hypocrite on November 26, 2010, 18:16 GMT

    @mits6..can't help that,it instinctively came out...and for that matter anybody would easily understand his sarcasm behind those statements @Mr.Zeeshan...ok mate,,lets have it then...indo-pak matches are always enthralling,engaging!Though India are much much better team than Pak,the nerves make the two teams equal and thats the beauty of it! Between don't deviate from topic,its time to congratulate Afghans..

  • Bengali-Tiger007 on November 26, 2010, 18:06 GMT

    Guys lets not get head over heels about this incompetent couch Latif, he is not even worth talking about. Although I am very proud of Bangladesh B team, but for me the real hereos are the afghans and to be honest their progress have been commandingly noticeable. I hope they get better chances by bigger teams like India, Srilanka & Bangladesh to let them play against them and also allow players to play in our own domestic leagues. Again Well done to our bengal tigers, Joy Bangla!!!!

  • on November 26, 2010, 17:24 GMT

    poor captaincy.. ur best bowler shd bowl 19th over when u are defending.. stupid captain keep that fast bowler and he got only 2 runs to defend... Afgan won the match actually... bt bd has the gold. :P

  • on November 26, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    wel done afganistan. you are a rising star in cricket .keep it up.but shame to your coach rashid latif.he has no personality and he does not know what he is asking.

  • on November 26, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    CONGRATULATIONS TO THE AFGHANS, I had challenged to my friends that they would be a team to look out for, and they haven't upset me.

    My feeling is that in the coming 4-5 years would be a critical period for the team. And probably they would be one the team that may go on to win the T20 World Cup at least the edition after the one to be held after the next in Sri Lanka.

  • on November 26, 2010, 16:07 GMT

    well done afghanistan, you get better and better. A well deserved silver and gold could have been snatched. Although Bangladesh had their B squad, they are well experienced and Afghanistan took it to the wire.

  • on November 26, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    I would like to see the contest between Pakistan A Team( Playing in Westendies) with Afgan National team. Only then, their proformence will be woth for looking at. Still they did pretty good job and should be encougaed in future

  • sadSajith on November 26, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    Congratulations Afghanistan hope you would beat Ireland next week.

  • on November 26, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    Well lets then have series between India and Pakistan...Come one Play against Paki Power Mr Sandeep......Believe me Pakistan is still the toughest competitor for India. Cheers.

  • shonkhochil on November 26, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    Rashid Latif is not a good sportsman. I can still remember his 'picking up' catch from the field in Multan Test match where Bangladesh lost to Pakistan only by one wicket. Mr. Latif is trying to get india's attention so that he can put Afgan's in the run of test status. Giving Bangladesh test status was a premature decision by ICC & I don't think they will make the same mistake again. And one more thing, Pakistan,Bangladesh & Srilanka send their A-team in the tournament not the national team. So Rashid should stop his nonsense. I would like to congratulate the real Afgan player in Afganistan team for playing good cricket ( some of them played for or in Pakistan before ) .... And Congratulations to Bangladesh team too...

  • mits6 on November 26, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    @ sandeep_sachin Do you think this comment was needed? by the way i m n Indian

  • rdsg on November 26, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    awesome performance by the afghans..hamid hassan is the player to watch out for,maybe an IPL contract is just round the corner.Also their leggie turned the ball more than our amit mishra or chawla.

  • mits6 on November 26, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    Its always great to see good teams in making. and yeah definitely subcontinent is now the home of cricket and these are we people who make cricket the second most played sport on this planet.

  • wiseshah on November 26, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    I warned the boys not to take Bangladesh lightly." --rashid latif

    seriously. is it the same guy who was cheating on a catch against BD vs pakistan test match and banned and later ousted from team. please think before you open your mouth controversial latif. is it him or most pakistani nature to say something stupid. afghan is an associates team and BD just whitewashed NZ and beat all big 8 and soon number 8 team

  • sweetspot on November 26, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    Tight game! Afghanistan, you made Asia proud with your performance! Only in the last two overs did the game get away from you, and Bangladesh somehow pulled off the gold medal winning performance, but to Asia, both of you are deserving winners. Excellent job!

  • on November 26, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    saarc cricket should be restarted. in the past it helped banladesh...now it will help afghanistan & nepal.

  • hypocrite on November 26, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    Seems Mr.Latif has hit 2 birds in one shot..lol...my advice to him,,enough of coaching Afghans,go and tran your national team Pak before they get drowned by their Afghan counterparts...

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  • hypocrite on November 26, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    Seems Mr.Latif has hit 2 birds in one shot..lol...my advice to him,,enough of coaching Afghans,go and tran your national team Pak before they get drowned by their Afghan counterparts...

  • on November 26, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    saarc cricket should be restarted. in the past it helped banladesh...now it will help afghanistan & nepal.

  • sweetspot on November 26, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    Tight game! Afghanistan, you made Asia proud with your performance! Only in the last two overs did the game get away from you, and Bangladesh somehow pulled off the gold medal winning performance, but to Asia, both of you are deserving winners. Excellent job!

  • wiseshah on November 26, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    I warned the boys not to take Bangladesh lightly." --rashid latif

    seriously. is it the same guy who was cheating on a catch against BD vs pakistan test match and banned and later ousted from team. please think before you open your mouth controversial latif. is it him or most pakistani nature to say something stupid. afghan is an associates team and BD just whitewashed NZ and beat all big 8 and soon number 8 team

  • mits6 on November 26, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    Its always great to see good teams in making. and yeah definitely subcontinent is now the home of cricket and these are we people who make cricket the second most played sport on this planet.

  • rdsg on November 26, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    awesome performance by the afghans..hamid hassan is the player to watch out for,maybe an IPL contract is just round the corner.Also their leggie turned the ball more than our amit mishra or chawla.

  • mits6 on November 26, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    @ sandeep_sachin Do you think this comment was needed? by the way i m n Indian

  • shonkhochil on November 26, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    Rashid Latif is not a good sportsman. I can still remember his 'picking up' catch from the field in Multan Test match where Bangladesh lost to Pakistan only by one wicket. Mr. Latif is trying to get india's attention so that he can put Afgan's in the run of test status. Giving Bangladesh test status was a premature decision by ICC & I don't think they will make the same mistake again. And one more thing, Pakistan,Bangladesh & Srilanka send their A-team in the tournament not the national team. So Rashid should stop his nonsense. I would like to congratulate the real Afgan player in Afganistan team for playing good cricket ( some of them played for or in Pakistan before ) .... And Congratulations to Bangladesh team too...

  • on November 26, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    Well lets then have series between India and Pakistan...Come one Play against Paki Power Mr Sandeep......Believe me Pakistan is still the toughest competitor for India. Cheers.

  • sadSajith on November 26, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    Congratulations Afghanistan hope you would beat Ireland next week.