Afghanistan keeps cricket World Cup dream alive

Afghanistan keeps cricket World Cup dream alive - Central Asia News Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan-Sports Business and Entertainment

Owen Faulkner


KABUL, Oct. 27 — Afghanistan’s national cricket team has kept its dream of reaching the World Cup finals alive after finishing first in the ICC’s World Cricket League Division 4 in Tanzania. Afghanistan clinched the league title without losing a single match despite some stiff competition from Hong Kong.

Afghan head coach Kabir Khan, whose team recorded dramatic victories over Tanzania and Hong Kong to remain undefeated in the group stages, genuinely believes that Afghanistan is good enough to play at the World Cup.

"2011 is a dream. I am very hopeful about it. I want our players to be there; they really deserve to be," said Khan, who previously represented Pakistan in Test and ODI cricket.

"We are taking things as they come and obviously we still have to get through Division 3. Once we achieve that target, we will be through to the World Cup Qualifier, and we will come up with another plan for that." Afghanistan will face Hong Kong, Papa New Guinea, the Cayman Islands, Argentina and Uganda in Division 3, which kicks off in Argentina in January.

If Afghanistan finishes first or second in Division 3, they will go on to face 10 other sides from Asia with a shot of reaching the World Cup. “We have time on our side now. The guys are already playing as a team. We need to raise our game a bit and be physically fit and better mentally prepared for the tournament," Khan said.

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