Afghanistan v Pakistan, one-off ODI, Sharjah February 9, 2012

A landmark in the Afghanistan journey

89

Match facts

February 10, Sharjah
Start time 1500 (1100 GMT)

Big Picture

Dreams rarely come to fruition at such breathless speeds. After winning their way through five divisions in two years, gaining a berth in the World Twenty20, and dominating better established Associates and Affiliates in the four-day format, Afghanistan have reached base camp - an ODI against a Test-playing nation. Barring an upset of the sort that can only involve Pakistan, Afghanistan will most definitely struggle in their first real audition in the one-day format, but to focus on the result at this momentous juncture would be to miss the point completely.

While their relationship with Pakistan may have been relegated to a love-hate relationship on the political front, the camaraderie shared between their cricketing administrations has been heartening. Cricket may have never taken root in Afghanistan but for their refugees who were forced by war to spend considerable time in Pakistan. The gratitude was repaid last year, when Afghanistan became the first team to tour Pakistan following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan side in 2009. People from both sides of the Durand Line will watch with interest when master and disciple clash in Sharjah on Friday. Expect a sizeable crowd, and healthy TRPs.

Afghanistan have a lot more to gain from the one-off encounter, while Pakistan will know the match could prove a banana peel before the real deal - their limited-overs clashes against England.

Pakistan's set up changes considerably when they shift from whites to colours; Abdur Rehman and Azhar Ali, who played such sterling roles in the Test whitewash of England, will most likely not figure in the XI.

Shahid Afridi, who has been nothing short of inspirational since his latest un-retirement, will reappear in the starting XI. His presence will add so much more to the squad's strength, while his exuberant ways will once again provide Misbah-ul-Haq's calm methods of control an interesting challenge. It will be intriguing to see if Afghanistan can land a few telling blows before Pakistan recalibrate their game for the shorter version.

Form guide

Pakistan WWWWW (Most recent first)
Afghanistan WWLWL

In the spotlight

Mohammad Hafeez has endured two quiet Tests with the bat, and will be eager to rediscover his touch before taking on England. Despite his consistent run in 2011, Hafeez's batting average is a sorry 26.96, and that's down to his tendency to waste starts. Hafeez's biggest enemy on Friday could be his own impetuousness. He's more certain to have an impact with his nagging brand of offbreaks.

Team news

Afghanistan suffered a major blow when fast bowler Hamid Hassan was ruled out of the game with a knee injury.*

Pitch and conditions

Gone are the days when the Sharjah surface was a featherbed favouring batsmen hitting through the line. The last time an ODI was played here, Pakistan recovered from the depths of 120 for 7 to post 200, and ended up defending it successfully. Afridi played a headlining role with the ball, but even more surprisingly, batted within himself to finish with a modestly-paced (by his standards) 75 off 65 balls. He got the ball to turn magically, and left batsmen of the calibre of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara looking clueless. Expect spin to dominate again in Sharjah.

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan have won 75 of their 109 games in Sharjah
  • Friday will be the first ODI clash between an Affiliate and a Test-playing team

Quotes

"It's a great opportunity for Afghanistan players and they can't wait for Friday."
Afghanistan manager Shafiqullah Stanikzai is as excited as his team

"If you take some team for granted, that is really a mistake for you. We are not going to do that."
Pakistan won't get complacent under Misbah-ul-Haq's watch

*February 9, 2012, 15.30 GMT: The preview has been updated with the news of Hamid Hassan's unavailability

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 10, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    @Islahuddin Shams....you dont need a peshawar here ...all the pathans in UAE are flooding for the match as we speak....

  • on February 10, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    The make up of this Afghan Team sounds a bit like when Pakistan started playing cricket back in the 50's. Most of their cricketers learnt cricket in the pre partition India and had a few talented cricketers who were experienced along with a few upstarts. Hamid Hassan could be Afghanistan's Fazal Mehmood. They have athletic bodies and large frames, I am sure once Cricket becomes the # 1 sport in Afghanistan, the talent pool will increase and we will see some real good fast bowlers coming from there. Just like Pakistan!

  • gibbons on February 10, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    Surprised to see so many posts boasting about which team is better - surely we can spare a bit of time just to say good luck to Afghanistan, and well done to Pakistan for making the time to play against a developing team. Hope to see Afghanistan at the next World Cup.

  • budhajeewa on February 10, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    Pakistan is a team I like, but I wish Afghanistan best of luck today. More regional teams among top teams the better. Best wishes from Sri Lanka.

    I hope SL board would organize a tour of Afghanistan in Sri Lanka.

    What do you say my Pakistani friends? Together we should raise this child.

  • on February 10, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    this match should be played in Peshawar

  • on February 9, 2012, 23:49 GMT

    it is a match we gonna see how is winner actually one will be the winner so need to more discuess

  • da_man_ on February 9, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    Adithya Raghunathan: You seem to be lost mate. To find pages regarding the Indian team click on the various links of "India whitewashed...again"

    In all seriousness, I hope Pak play a strong team for Afghanistan's development. They need to be introduced to the true level op tier cricket is played on. The result of this encounter is irrelevant. I hope Afghanistan play with their usual spirit and verve. They are a captivating team when on song.

  • on February 9, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    LOOL these big words from afghanistan can harm them bad goodluckk but dont take pakistan tat easy they jus beated the number 1 ranked team 3/0

  • on February 9, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    i want to see pakistan winning

  • iMPARTIAL.PAK on February 9, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    if a team can beat the best team in the world,be it England,Australia, south africa , its pakistan.. Pakistan never gives up , things have changed .. Mark my words.

  • on February 10, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    @Islahuddin Shams....you dont need a peshawar here ...all the pathans in UAE are flooding for the match as we speak....

  • on February 10, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    The make up of this Afghan Team sounds a bit like when Pakistan started playing cricket back in the 50's. Most of their cricketers learnt cricket in the pre partition India and had a few talented cricketers who were experienced along with a few upstarts. Hamid Hassan could be Afghanistan's Fazal Mehmood. They have athletic bodies and large frames, I am sure once Cricket becomes the # 1 sport in Afghanistan, the talent pool will increase and we will see some real good fast bowlers coming from there. Just like Pakistan!

  • gibbons on February 10, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    Surprised to see so many posts boasting about which team is better - surely we can spare a bit of time just to say good luck to Afghanistan, and well done to Pakistan for making the time to play against a developing team. Hope to see Afghanistan at the next World Cup.

  • budhajeewa on February 10, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    Pakistan is a team I like, but I wish Afghanistan best of luck today. More regional teams among top teams the better. Best wishes from Sri Lanka.

    I hope SL board would organize a tour of Afghanistan in Sri Lanka.

    What do you say my Pakistani friends? Together we should raise this child.

  • on February 10, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    this match should be played in Peshawar

  • on February 9, 2012, 23:49 GMT

    it is a match we gonna see how is winner actually one will be the winner so need to more discuess

  • da_man_ on February 9, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    Adithya Raghunathan: You seem to be lost mate. To find pages regarding the Indian team click on the various links of "India whitewashed...again"

    In all seriousness, I hope Pak play a strong team for Afghanistan's development. They need to be introduced to the true level op tier cricket is played on. The result of this encounter is irrelevant. I hope Afghanistan play with their usual spirit and verve. They are a captivating team when on song.

  • on February 9, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    LOOL these big words from afghanistan can harm them bad goodluckk but dont take pakistan tat easy they jus beated the number 1 ranked team 3/0

  • on February 9, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    i want to see pakistan winning

  • iMPARTIAL.PAK on February 9, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    if a team can beat the best team in the world,be it England,Australia, south africa , its pakistan.. Pakistan never gives up , things have changed .. Mark my words.

  • Morfi on February 9, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    @Udendra - those high sounding words usually come back to haunt people... England also thought the same before they came to the middle east... watch out, your team might be next!

  • Tellthetruth on February 9, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Best of luck to both teams.

  • on February 9, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    my team is Pakistan ,i live in Pakistan but u know wat i want Afghanistan 2 win it ...........do it this tym Afghanistan........make this ur day.............love from Pakistan

  • on February 9, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Salam to every fun of cricket, the recent message3 from hamid hassan has impressed me. "win or loss are parts of the game, try to play smart and disciplined cricket. my XI for afghanistan. noorali zadran, Javed ahmadi,karim sadiq,shabir nori, mohammad shahzad(wk), nowroz mangal, asghar stanikzai, m.nabi, sami.u shinwari,dawlat zadran, shapoor zadran. hope Afghanistan fight thier best.

  • adillove on February 9, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    Afghanistan is a good side a some talented also but you can't disregard Pakistan and specially after their current victories against England they are in a very good position Afghanistan have to be cautious from them specially from Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi. But lets hope our country Afghanistan play good game I don't worry about winning or losing the thing that makes me mad at them is when they try to smash every ball out of the ground they must not try to do that at least in this match.

  • on February 9, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    Pakistan should show some leniency towards Afghanistan team in the match. Pakistan should try youngsters

  • on February 9, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    I hope thats not their only ODI in whole year.Whether they get blown away or not, they should be given as much opportunity as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. look how badly Zimbabwe got thrashed, then why not give these associates equal opportunity to so called Test nations.

  • swingstowin on February 9, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    If Pakistan can lose to Ireland,they can lose to Afghanistan too!! Its really good to see Afghanistan play cricket at this level... I am from Pakistan,so i hope Pakistan wins but best of luck to our western neighbors too!

  • BowledYa on February 9, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    It may be an important match for Afghanistan but its just a warmup for Pakistan, before the England series starts. That's how Misbah and Mohsin will approach it, a practice opportunity to change gears from tests to ODIs - nothing exciting.

  • on February 9, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    All this hype. Afghanistan should play Nepal or Namibia or maybe Kenya. One sided match.

  • imransangdil on February 9, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    I think Afghanistan have a better chance of winning by hosting few games against india at home, I think everyone here will agree with me.

  • sabee66 on February 9, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    Afghanistan can easily beat India , they have learnt and played good cricket in Pakistan

  • on February 9, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Well come to real cricket my beloved Afghan Brothers. Marhaba, Khush Aamdeed. I wish you a great game and win as your win is also the win of Pakistanies :)

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    if any team could lose against Afghanistan, it's Pakistan.

  • woodhaven on February 9, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    hamid hasan adopted 70s bollywood actress style like madhubala, saira banu, waheeda rehman.

  • Dashgar on February 9, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Great to see Afghanistan finally getting their chance against the top teams. They are at least as good as Ireland, maybe as good as Bangladesh or Zimbabwe too. They just need more chances to prove themselves. I hope they play well in this game, win or lose, and get more opportunities especially against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

  • imransangdil on February 9, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    Pak vs Afg!!! mismatch of the century!!

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    I think playing Umar Akmal as wicketkeeper batsman will provide additional slot for a batsman.. And that's what we need. As many batsman as possible :p

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    afghanistan by more od cricket to full meber.afghaistan is very danger team?

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    this is going to be interesting... i am sure afghanistan has the capability to produce some very quick bowlers... they should have the talent...

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    Pakistan should go on with resting MISBAH, HAFEEZ, AJMAL, Younis, GUL and they rather should go on with the line up

    Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafique, Umer Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Hammad Azam, Shahid Afridi, Adnan Akmal, A.Rehman, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema

    So that they seniors will get the due rest and new comers like Malik, Afridi, Farhat may find their feets with azhar and adnan may taste odi culture !!!

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    common afgani's .you can beat pakistan not a big deal

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    Hamid Hassan won't be playing because he sustained an injury during the English XI vs ICC Associate XI match.

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    we should not play with the emotion of people, no one can ignore that Pak's team a test playing team, but Afghans are known for their talent and ability across the globe... bcz of Afghans(PATHANS like:Imran Khan, Younis Khan, Shahid Khan Afridi, Misbah Khan Niazi, Umar Gul...) pakistan' team is in the top ten teams of the world.

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    The spirit of cricket should live on !!! This match should be played in a friendly atmosphere so that the political acrimony goes away.....

  • Ajmal-yousafzai on February 9, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    @Dannymania------- afghanistan can be out for less than 50 but pakistan will never score 400 runs in up comming 400 years.

  • johntycodes on February 9, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    Any match involving pakistan I wouldn't count out the afghans in this match.

  • Match-winner on February 9, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    @Dannymania - I think you missed the point that Nitin made, infact doesn't seem like you read the preview at all! As a Pakistani I also hope we do well, and win handsomely InshaAllah, but would never want to make fun of any team - one because students do reach or exceed the level of their teacher if you encourage them & not ridicule (which is what a new side needs), and secondly because cricket is a funny game! I wish for Pakistan's success, and at the same time, wish Afghanistan best of luck.

  • Tellthetruth on February 9, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    Barring Pakistan's supremacy in spin bowling department as shown in the recently concluded Test series against England, there may not be a huge difference b/w these two teams .... and by the way this clash is not between MASTER and disciple, this is a competition between two sovereign nations and this Afghanistan side has all the potential to upset the in-form Pakistan team. Wish them all the best...

  • desi_picasso on February 9, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    Brothers lets appreciate Afghanistan and Bangladesh teams. These are the only teams agreed to play in pakistan. Don't be overconfident, Pakistan team has given lots of embarassing moments in past and will take decade to overcome.

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Any idea what the likely XIs will be, particularly Afghanistan? Is Hamid Hassan fit after his injury playing for the Combined Associate/Affiliate XI against England a few weeks ago? I think he had an operation recently so must be a doubt for this game? Also what about left-arm quick Shapoor Zadran?

    Also surely this is not just the first ODI in Sharjah between an Affiliate and a test playing team, but the first ODI EVER ANYWHERE between an Affiliate and a test playing team?!! It's a mystery to me why Afghanistan doesn't have Associate membership yet.

  • on February 9, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Cricket needs to expand its base. Good to see Afghanistan playing well. The greater the competition, the better for the game of cricket.

  • sunnysaeed on February 9, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    never under estimate afghanistan as they got some hitter in their Squad,

    but so far ,,,,, best of luck for pakistan and hope they will not repeat their Bangladesh or Ireland performance ......

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    pakistan win this match and best of luck to both side

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    We are expecting an exciting, interesting, remarkable and historical play from our Team, Afghanistan. We hope Afg. fight Pakistan really hard and win the game. I love to see "Test-Playing Nation" written next to Afghanistan!! We are pretty optimistic Afghanistan will show outstanding and inspirational performance in Sharjah tomorrow. Proud to be an Afghan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    We Love Pakistan.............................

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    Watch it guys...it'l be really fun....

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    Pak Vs Afghanistan: well its a waste of time !

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    they better play this game seriously we dont want a pak ireland preview of worldcup :)

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    Azhar Ali should be given chance

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    Unfortunately Afghan hero's Hamid Hassan will not play to show something for Pakistan...

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    Afghanistan will fight hard...

  • atuljain1969 on February 9, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    I think Afghanis should give good account of themselves. In fact I believe they are more exciting team to watch then say a Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.

    Recent SAAF cup Soccer in India, is a pointer. They played really well. I wish them goodluck for this game and for future.

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    Good to see the PCB supporting all these minnows. The only board with any sort of tangible support for them. Ireland, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    Wish you all the best Afghan players. All cricketers fan of Afghanistan are really exited to watch this game, and INSHALLAH Afghan players will try to show up their talents and will not get Afghan fans disappointed. All Afghan players are best performer, All Afghan players are all rounders,BEST OF LUCK TO ALL AFGHAN PLAYERS.I lovee u AFG team ♥ u wll beat pakistan ♥ I will be special praying 4 u today ♥

  • musa441 on February 9, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    afghanis are our brothers to be honest i want a tie between us and them:))....

  • circguru on February 9, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    I hope that the Afghanistan will have a good team in future!!!!!! Best of Luck from Pakistani nation and pray for your success in the cricketing world!!!!

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    This will be the good contest specially for new born Afghanistan......

  • getsetgopk on February 9, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    well to those of you know dont know much about Afghan cricket, this Afghan team lost all three ODIs to pakistan A in pakistan less than a year ago so Afghanistan, pak will beat you, let that be clear but again as Nitin said result doesn't mean anything here, its a momentous day for Afghanistan and Afghan cricket, lets celebrate it, welcome aboard and may you prosper on the fields of cricket.

  • SajithKrishna on February 9, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    I really love the spirit that Afghanistan, Ireland and Netherlands bring!

  • kamranwasti on February 9, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    Friday will be the first ODI clash in Sharjah between an Affiliate and a Test-playing team <---- Bangladesh played Australia and New Zealand in the 1990 Austral-Asia Cup.

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    Good luck Afghans! play hard, welcome to ODI arena, may you become a strength in upcoming years .... Good luck Pakistan,GO win.

  • momersaeed on February 9, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Although i am a Pakistani, but i want to see Afghanistan perform well. Afghanistan & Bangladesh will always have soft corners in the Pakistani hearts

  • on February 9, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    PAKISTAN WILL INSHALLAH ALL OUT IN ONE BALL HEHEHEEH

  • DArcha on February 9, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    I believe Afghans will stun the PAKS

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    lovin' ittt. pak can see off them easily

  • malcolmvs on February 9, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    I see that Dannymania just does not know his cricket. Afghanistan have played 9 first-class matches & NONE of them have been in Pakistan. They did play 2 day matches in Pakistan in their formative years before starting their dramatic rise on the international stage. As for the scores, well they will not be in the region that Dannymania suggests, & whilst the Afghans may well not win the match, they will certainly win more friends. As for the skills of the players, the 3 who represented the ICC XI v England last month all did well (Mohammad Shazhad 51 & 74 + 6 catches as keeper; Hamid Hassan 2/26 before injury; Mohammad Nabi 2/42 & 3/66). They need support from good cricket fans to help them along & make ICC realise that there is more to this great game than just 10 Full Members.

  • Garryjovial on February 9, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    Are you sure this is the first match between an affiliate and test nation in Sharjah? I seriously doubt that....as UAE must have played at some point against India or Pak or SL or Bang in Sharjah. Goodluck to Afganistan

  • Third_Gear on February 9, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Right opposition of Pakistan

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    would love to see Afghanistan rachet up their ranking in due course so they can qualify at the highest level of international cricket. It will be good for cricket all round and will promote the game beyond its current horizon.

    They have demonstrated that in their recent performances that they are nothing but sheer raw talent.

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Hope more muslims countries come in crcket like pakistan and bangladesh.......

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    I just read a superb book on the rise of the Afghan team, "Out of the Ashes". What a wonderful book. Best of luck!

    I also saw Hong Kong play cricket once, omg, they would lose to a club 3rd team. The ICC/ACC need to ensure the qualiy is maintained. Hong Kong has played offiical ODIs, a disgrace!

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Where we can get tickets from for this match? or is it free entry??

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    hope afgan win comprehensively

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    Hamid is not playing this historic game for Afghanistan, unfortunately. He injured himself in the Associate XI vs England XI game. It is big blow to Afghanistan's chances, if there are some. But still, we can expect them to give a tough time to Pakistan.

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    good luck Afghan Cricket team wish to See a good Cricket match you guys Are the best . love u all

  • badmaash on February 9, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    Should be a good match, Afghanistan are no push-overs and they have played against some of the Pakistani players in first-class before.

  • rko_rules on February 9, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    BEST OF LUCK TO AFGHAN TEAM!!!! All of India's wishes are with you... Hope you thrash Pakistan very badly. And make the most of this opportunity to make a mark in international cricket. Win on Pakistan will really make a good impression on World Cricket. Love you guys

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    I am in the favor of including Azhar in our ODI side because he is not a good hitter of the ball if he plays i bet we wont score more than 150 in 50 overs lolz

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    All the best Afghanistan Cricket Team. Welcome to the main arena in the ODI cricket. This is a huge opportunity for you. We won't forget you even if you lose the series without a win, if only you make a strong fight each time you compete. All the best Afghanistan Cricket Team. Give your best.

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    BEST OF LUCK AFGANISTAN....wish you play well..:D

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    it will be exciting to see the neighbor country, and to see whether they are ready to face the tougher oppositions or not. Hamid did impress in his last outing against England during a practice match.

  • malcolmvs on February 9, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    Here's wishing all the very best to the Afghanistan Team, & hope that they perform well on the big stage. They should enjoy the occasion but look to prove they are worthy of the fixture. They have come so far, so quickly & in my eyes have overtaken the likes of Kenya, Scotland, Canada, Holland & Ireland in the second tier of international cricket. This just another step in their meteoric rise, but one that I hope will bring further recognition for them within the ICC & the cricket family in general. The should have an initial first class tour of England (playing some of the counties etc.) with an inaugral ODI at Lords against England inthe next two years if the ICC etc. are to prove how much they wish to promote cricket among countries outside of the 10 Full Members. Forget about USA who cannot get their domestic house in order - back Afghanistan !.

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    Cricinfo dont even know that Hamid Hassan is injured and cant play !

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    Good luck to both teams, Hope cricket wins in the end

  • nzcricket174 on February 9, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    Best of luck and hope you get to test cricket one day Afghanistan.

  • Dannymania on February 9, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    i hope pakistan makes a 400 batting first,and get afghanistanis out for less than 50.thats how much difference i think is there between these two teams.Afghanistanis have played most of their first class cricket in pakistan,and now they're going to use that practice against pakistanis.hahaha.i honestly hope pakistanis bat first and i hope Azhar Ali plays and opens with hafeez.My team for this match::1: Azhar Ali 2: M.Hafeez 3: Younis Khan 4: Misbah ul Haq 5: Asad Shafiq 6: Umar Akmal 7: Hammad Azam 8: Shahid Afridi 9: Adnan Akmal 10: Saeed Ajmal 11: Umar Gul..

  • on February 9, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    BEST OF LUCK Wish we will see a good fight from both Sides............ Specially Afghan Brave Cricketers..................

  • on February 9, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    We will Love to see this Match. We Always have good Feelings for Afghans and Loved them and i Hope they are Also Loving us. It will be a good contest coz Afghan team also have some talented Players. Hope for The Best

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  • on February 9, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    We will Love to see this Match. We Always have good Feelings for Afghans and Loved them and i Hope they are Also Loving us. It will be a good contest coz Afghan team also have some talented Players. Hope for The Best

  • on February 9, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    BEST OF LUCK Wish we will see a good fight from both Sides............ Specially Afghan Brave Cricketers..................

  • Dannymania on February 9, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    i hope pakistan makes a 400 batting first,and get afghanistanis out for less than 50.thats how much difference i think is there between these two teams.Afghanistanis have played most of their first class cricket in pakistan,and now they're going to use that practice against pakistanis.hahaha.i honestly hope pakistanis bat first and i hope Azhar Ali plays and opens with hafeez.My team for this match::1: Azhar Ali 2: M.Hafeez 3: Younis Khan 4: Misbah ul Haq 5: Asad Shafiq 6: Umar Akmal 7: Hammad Azam 8: Shahid Afridi 9: Adnan Akmal 10: Saeed Ajmal 11: Umar Gul..

  • nzcricket174 on February 9, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    Best of luck and hope you get to test cricket one day Afghanistan.

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    Good luck to both teams, Hope cricket wins in the end

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    Cricinfo dont even know that Hamid Hassan is injured and cant play !

  • malcolmvs on February 9, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    Here's wishing all the very best to the Afghanistan Team, & hope that they perform well on the big stage. They should enjoy the occasion but look to prove they are worthy of the fixture. They have come so far, so quickly & in my eyes have overtaken the likes of Kenya, Scotland, Canada, Holland & Ireland in the second tier of international cricket. This just another step in their meteoric rise, but one that I hope will bring further recognition for them within the ICC & the cricket family in general. The should have an initial first class tour of England (playing some of the counties etc.) with an inaugral ODI at Lords against England inthe next two years if the ICC etc. are to prove how much they wish to promote cricket among countries outside of the 10 Full Members. Forget about USA who cannot get their domestic house in order - back Afghanistan !.

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    it will be exciting to see the neighbor country, and to see whether they are ready to face the tougher oppositions or not. Hamid did impress in his last outing against England during a practice match.

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    BEST OF LUCK AFGANISTAN....wish you play well..:D

  • on February 9, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    All the best Afghanistan Cricket Team. Welcome to the main arena in the ODI cricket. This is a huge opportunity for you. We won't forget you even if you lose the series without a win, if only you make a strong fight each time you compete. All the best Afghanistan Cricket Team. Give your best.