World Twenty20 Qualifier 2012

Afghanistan hope to play Tests - Nabi

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 24, 2012

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A

Afghanistan celebrate their win against Namibia and their qualification for the ICC World Twenty20, Afghanistan v Namibia, ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, Dubai, March 22, 2012
Afghanistan's players celebrate their qualification for the ICC World Twenty20 © Getty Images
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Afghanistan hope to achieve Test status by building on the success they have had in the Twenty20 format, allrounder Mohammad Nabi has said. Afghanistan have qualified for the World Twenty20 for the second time running, and Nabi said the next step was Test cricket.

"We really hope that we are granted Test status as we are playing so well and also we have such a fanatical following in Afghanistan," Nabi told "We will try our best by playing good cricket in the coming months to show the world and ICC that we deserve Test status." 

Afghanistan have also shown progress in four-day cricket; they won the last edition of the Intercontinental Cup, and beat Canada before drawing against the UAE in the ongoing edition.

After winning eight straight games in the World T20 qualifiers, Afghanistan will make an appearance in the main event, which will be played in Sri Lanka in September-October 2012. In the 2010 World T20, Afghanistan had failed to win a single match, and Nabi said the immediate challenge on the road towards long-term goals would be to compete with the stronger opposition in their group. They will play the final of the qualifiers on March 24, against Ireland, and Nabi is hoping for a win, which would put Afghanistan in Group B in the World T20, along with Australia and West Indies.*

"Of course, we will try our best to win the tournament but realistically we would like to win against Australia and West Indies; give them as tough a time as possible and, god willing, qualify for the next round and then take it from there."

A loss in the final would mean Afghanistan would be in Group A, with India and England.

Nabi said the success in cricket had brought joy to the masses in Afghanistan and was a widely discussed topic across the country.

"This is the second time we have qualified for the ICC World T20 event and everyone at home is happy; we have made our nation proud and are very proud of our achievements. People have been calling me from the UAE and Afghanistan to tell me that they have been praying that we win; everyone is so happy that they have no words to express their joy."

*12:30 GMT, March 24, 2012: This article originally said Afghanistan were in Group B in the World Twenty20. It has been corrected to reflect that their group will be decided by the final of the World Twenty20 qualifiers

Edited by Devashish Fuloria

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

We will see that how soon Afghanistan become full member.

Posted by mihir_nam on (March 27, 2012, 13:10 GMT)

Afghanistan Board should play 3ODI's and 2 t20's with Pakistan annually on home and away year in AFG one year in PAk.this way Pakistan can prove they can host International teams also. Even if Afg is safe why not teams will tour them..which is highly unlikely at the moment..but Afg can get good revenue from which they can build good Infrastructure..and rise to associate level.. Afg go ask help from Pakistan Board. Way you played in ODI first few overs was amazing for t20 against Pakistan. And Afg should be included in ASIA cup along with one more Asian Associate.

Ireland who are already knocking on doors of ICC should be granted test status first and sooner.

Posted by MukhtarEB on (March 26, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

Afghanistan Cricket team is a great team, and i wish they reach to TESTS cricket soon with achievements. All the best

Posted by   on (March 25, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

Insha Allah Afghan cricket team will played test status and have more success in near future and i am sure they deserve.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

Test status? must be joking. look at bangladesh. first prove yourselves CONSISTENTLY at ODI level.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (March 24, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

Wait Afghanistan wait, you got to play ODI cricket against big teams first and then setup your first class structure and then you will get test status in next 10 years. It's not that easy, it takes lots of years, lots of investment to get test status.

Just hope that ICC allow you play T2020 and ODI against big teams and you can win some games to show us how good you are.

Afghanistan is an awesome team and i believe they can beat any team in the world on their best day. Great job in current qualifiers. Great performance.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

Afghanistan have the right attitude at the moment. They are doing well. They have been exceptional in this tournament. If they continue to play like this, who knows, in 20 or 30 years they'll even start playing International Test Cricket. Congratulations and All the Best Afghanistan.

Posted by Muzgrob on (March 24, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

Perhaps they should get associate status first before worrying about tests?

Posted by   on (March 24, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

Good luck to Afghanistan for the final. You are a fantastic team. If you continue to play like that, you will surely get test status sooner than latter. Best wishes to you.

Posted by Harry_Kool on (March 24, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

It is good to have ambitions. I think they will be competitive in T20 very soon and continue to compete for a while yet. But to be brutally honest, they are a long, long way off from being competitive in test cricket. There is no infrastructure for first class cricket, and test players need years of this type of cricket to be prepared. Bangladesh is an example of a country tossed into the test arena too quickly. 10 years after they have debuted, they are as far from the next lowest team as when they began. Sure there will be odd occasions when they compete, but their infrastructure is severely limiting their test performances. They need years of playing against "B" teams and their own domestic system need to be incorporated with Pakistan in order to develop the necessasry skills to complete at the elite level. I do with them well in their quest however.

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Afghanistan v Ireland at Dubai (DSC) - Mar 24, 2012
Ireland won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
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