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Friday, April 30, 2010

Huge Expectation from Afghanistan in Twenty20 World Cup 2010

Afghanistan’s rise in world cricket over the last couple of years has been quite dramatic. They won a number of trophies and most importantly they qualified for ICC World Twenty20 2010. Coming from a war-torn country, the Afghan cricketers have proved their skill and talent so far. They once again made the headlines by defeating Ireland by 5 wickets in the warm-up game on Wednesday (28 April 2010).

You might think that they do not have anything to lose in this tournament, but the reality is different. Thanks to their continuous success over the last 2 years among the associative member countries, Afghan cricket fans are now even dreaming for winning twenty20 world cup! Yes, that is true. Before coming to the Caribbean, even President Hamid Kharzai asked them to win the trophy. If you do not believe me then I am quoting coach Kabir Khan from Cricinfo:

"We met our president, Hamid Kharzai, a month ago and he just asked us to win the World Cup," the coach Kabir Khan said with a laugh and a smile, sitting alongside his captain Nowroz Mangal. "Even when it's a friendly game the scores are live on the internet and the TV shows them at the bottom."

Actually, the fact is that cricket is not yet a very popular game in Afghanistan. The popularity is gradually increasing because Afghanistan is winning trophies almost continuously against the associative countries like Kenya, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands and other. People now believe that if Afghanistan can win against Ireland, then why not against Australia or Pakistan. Kabir Khan said:

"They don't know a lot about cricket, they just see the team is winning so think it should be good enough," Khan explained. "If they can win one tournament why not the World Cup? It's all the same for them. We often get asked when we are going to beat Australia or Pakistan, so those are the questions we have to answer sometimes and we just have to calm them a little."

So, Afghanistan cricketers are also under pressure. They will play against India and South Africa in the group stage and coach Kabir Khan is now looking to cause an upset. What else he can do when Afghan fans are expecting their cricketers would win the tournament.

You can enjoy the preview of India vs Afghanistan match here.

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