Thursday, 25 November 2010

Afghan cricketers battling to achieve the title favorite in 16Asian games

By Hanan Habibzai

Afghanistan is proud enough having heroes struggling to eminence reputation of their war waged country.Afghan cricketers had motivated performance in the last few days against the Asian nations including Pakistan.Afghan national team beat Pakistan to make its way toward gold medal. this will be first gold medal in Afghan History that a team brings to the war shattered country.

The victory against Pakistan celebrated all across the entire country which brought smile to the war torn Afghans for few hours and they forgotten the sorrows which are considered every day dealing in Afghanistan.Afghan Twenty20 captain Mohammad Nabi said his whole country was behind them..
“On TV last night in Afghanistan, they told people to pray that we would win. Tonight they will be celebrating all over the country. It’s a dream for us,” he said.
In the first meeting between the two sides, Afghanistan scored 125-8 in their 20 overs before limiting Pakistan’s flamboyant batsmen to just 103-7.
Afghanistan’s score did not look enough as Pakistan made a lightning reply, racing to 30 off just three overs, but tight Afghan bowling and disciplined fielding prompted a middle-order collapse.
According Pakistani news paper, the Dawn, Afghanistan coach Rashid Latif didn’t want his players to be overawed against Pakistan in the Asian Games cricket semi-finals, so he hand delivered a message containing a Quranic verse to inspire them.
“Do not be scared of your rivals in WAR. Understand that they are also humans and are scared as well,” Latif wrote in his note to every Afghani cricketer in the Athletes Village at Guangzhou on Wednesday night.
On Thursday morning, Afghanistan made history by eliminating title favorite Pakistan from the gold medal race with a clinical 22-run victory in the Asian Games Twenty20 tournament.“I kept reminding players about my last night’s message,” Latif, the former Pakistan test cricketer, told The Associated Press as he wrapped an Afghan flag around his shoulders.
With only one more win needed for an unlikely gold medal, the celebrations obviously are on hold.“I won’t be celebrating tonight because we won against my home country,” he said. “But definitely I will join celebrations with my players tomorrow after the final.”
Latif started coaching Afghanistan just a few months back and the dividends are already coming.He said a medal at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, where cricket made its debut on the sports program, had long been in his calculations.

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