Afghanistan captain Mohammed Nabi said on Monday that his side have come a long way and would like to continue their recent development in the forthcoming Asia Cup.
The Afghans open their Asia Cup campaign on Thursday against Pakistan and Nabi hopes that they will carry on their good work.
‘The challenge is huge. The infrastructure, the cricketing facilities that we had previously were equal to nothing,’ Nabi told media at a city hotel.
‘We have coped with every little challenge that we had in the past. The grounds are there, junior cricketers are coming up and the domestic structure is building up much more comprehensively.
‘And the best evidence is our Under-19 team, who reached the quarterfinals of the [ICC U-19] World Cup after beating Australia. So Afghanistan team is progressing and we are very happy right now in the stage we are in,’ he said.
Afghanistan will take part in the competition for the first time in the tournament’s 12th edition, and Nabi went on to say that they will try hard against the four Full Members.
‘Yeah, it is a tough tournament and it is our first time in the Asia Cup. And we want to prove that we can play against the Full Members. And we want to show our talent to the world, that Afghanistan is here,’ said Nabi.
‘It is good news for Afghanistan that the other teams are talking about us. They are talking about Afghanistan because they know us and how we play. [God willing] we will try our best to play good cricket in this tournament,’ he said.
The 29-year-old all-rounder was also looking forward to the game against hosts Bangladesh on March 1 and said that all-rounder Sakib al Hasan’s absence would work in their favour.
Sakib was recently banned for three matches by the BCB for an inappropriate gesture Continued on
during the second one-day international against Sri Lanka on February 20. He missed the third and final one-dayer and is set to sit out the opening two Asia Cup games against India and Afghanistan.
‘We have heard the news about Sakib al Hasan. They have banned him for three matches. This is a good chance [for us] as he is a key player of Bangladesh,’ said Nabi.
Having experienced Bangladeshi conditions and pitches while playing in the Bangladesh Premier League and the Dhaka Premier League, the right-handed batsman was of the opinion that it will stand him in good stead.
‘I have already played the BPL and the Dhaka Premier League. In both the tournaments I played pretty well, and I know the grounds and pitches in Bangladesh. It is good for me and [God willing] I will try my best to perform,’ he said.
Nabi also noted that the conditions in Bangladesh are not unknown to the rest of the side, since some of them have also played here previously.
‘Gulbadin Naib, Shapoor Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai and probably half the side have played in Bangladesh. And this is a good experience for Afghanistan.’
-With New Age input