Afghanistan colts feel Test status a massive boost to the country
Various cricketers from Afghanistan have expressed their desire to play their first ever Test match against India and U19 coach Ahmedzai was also of the same opinion.
Published - Jun 27, 2017 11:41 pm | Updated - Jun 27, 2017 11:41 pm
The story of Afghanistan cricket has been fascinating. The way they have improved in recent years shows they are really eager to make a mark in world cricket. The story of a country ravaged by war getting the prestigious Test status has sent their fans into a frenzy. Nevertheless, the fans across the globe are excited to see the boys from Afghanistan in traditional white jersey.
Another team from the country is roaring to make an impact at the global stage. The Afghan U19 team wants to leave no stones unturned in their preparation for the Junior World Cup qualifiers to be played in Singapore. To get used to the conditions and train with better-equipped professionals the team reached Chennai on Tuesday for a preparatory camp.
“The boys are eager to follow the footsteps of their heroes Rashid and Mohammad Nabi. Cricket has come a long way in the country in the past few years. The success had come after a lot of hard work and sacrifices,” said under-19 coach Dawlat Ahmadzai.
IPL has played a big role
He also credited IPL for allowing Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi to feature in the tournament. “Also IPL has played a big role with Rashid Khan’s performance for Sunrisers Hyderabad has helped in taking the craze to another level. Rashid and Nabi playing IPL is the best thing that could have happened for us,” Ahmadzai told PTI.
Various cricketers from Afghanistan have expressed their desire to play their first ever Test match against India and Ahmadzai was also of the same opinion. “Ahmadzai won’t mind if they make their debut against India but Zimbabwe is the more likely opponent as of now,” he added.
The U19 coach also felt that there is still scope for improvement and things are only going to get better from here. “We have a good domestic structure and now that we have got the Test status, there is a big scope of improvement in infrastructural quality. We have eight stadiums and multiple academies in our country,” he said.
Youngsters excited for the challenge ahead
Teenagers Mohammeidi and Parwiz Malikzai also could not hide their excitement ahead of the World Cup qualifiers and were happy as their country was awarded the Test status.
“It is a massive boost for our country. Cricket is the number one sport in Afghanistan and this is a big step forward,” Malikzai said. However, he was not at all amused at the way International media portrays Afghanistan as a “war torn nation”. “Cities like Kabul are as safe as any other,” said Malikzai who is an all-rounder and a fan of Yuvraj Singh.
Mohammeidi was proud of the way Rashid has excelled in such a short span of time and said he is an inspiration for countless youngsters to take up cricket.
“Test status is a huge motivation for the entire country. It will chart a new path for Afghan cricket,” concluded Mohammeidi.