Thursday, April 29, 2010
T/20 world cup Afghanistan
The journey of this war torn country from the lower divisions of cricket to qualifying for the T/20 world cup has been nothing, but extraordinary. Just about 8 or 10 years ago, they were nowhere in the picture, but now they have even qualified for the the world cup! Afghanistan have shown that they can match the best associate team Ireland as well and have even defeated them recently as they beat Ireland in the finals of the qualifying round for the T/20 world cup and again defeated them yesterday in a warm up match.
Hamid Hassan- Hassan who usually wears a blue headband is a big fan of Freddie. Hassan has the ability to bowl at a nippy pace and can swing it both ways. He is also a fine outfielder. Just like other players in the side, he just plays with so much enthusiasm and that is what one would like to see in a amateur team.
Nabi-He is a very useful all-rounder and a key member of the Afghan team. He is a very useful off spinner and showed his mettle by being the highest wicket taker in the qualifying round for the T/20 world cup and a fine middle/lower order batsman as well.
Shahzad- Shahzad is a talented young batsman, who showed his class by smashing the Irish team all over the park in the finals of the T/20 qualifying round. Shahzad also came up with a brilliant effort against Canada in the intercontinental tournament as he scored a double hundred to help the Afghan team chase down a mammoth target in excess of 400. He is just 18, but has a bright future ahead of him.
Mangal- The captain himself has been in excellent touch in first class cricket, but hasn't found it easy to get runs in the shorter formats of the game. The team no doubt would require their captain to lead from the front.
I would also like to mention the left arm medium pacer, Zadran as he has chipped in with crucial wickets for Afghanistan.
The Afghans have always come across as a team, who enjoy playing the game. Yes, they would likely be thrashed by heavyweights like South Africa and India in their group, but it has no doubt been a remarkable journey for this war torn country.