Afghanistan captain raises the bar for his team at ICC World T20
Afghanistan captain Nawroz Mangal wants his side to take the next step in its cricket, by beating more than one Test team at the ICC World Twenty20 2012.
“We are drawn with the defending ICCC World T20 champion (England) and defending ICC Cricket World Cup champion (India). We are ready for this challenge. I am sure that our performance will be much improved and better against these Full Members. Ireland and Netherlands have shown that Full Members can be beaten. We are hoping to replicate that,’’ said Nawroz at the pre-event media conference in Colombo on Thursday.
Nawroz is banking on the team’s preparations to pay off with a good result at the ICC World Twenty20 2012.
“We have prepared well for the last 45 days. The morale of the team is very high. This time the expectation from our fans are also different from last time we qualified for ICC World Twenty20 in 2010. The fans are expecting us to not just put up a good show against Associate and Affiliate Members, but also against the Full Members. We hope that we can live up to their expectations,’’ hoped Mangal.
One important factor in achieving that success would be the fitness levels of fast bowler Hamid Hassan.
“Hamid Hassan is a key figure in our team. We rate him very highly. It was unfortunate that he got injured. But he has recovered well though there is a slight concern. We are hopeful that all will be well,’’ informed Nawroz.
Above all, Nawroz is still living the dream of leading his side at the ICC World Twenty20 2010.
“It was a huge achievement for us. Before qualifying for ICC World Twenty20 2010, we had only 70,000 people playing cricket in Afghanistan. After that we have more than 500,000 playing the sport. If we do well this time those numbers will rise further. It is a positive sign that the youth are taking to sports. We are positive influences on the society. Hopefully all this will contribute to peace in the country,’’ concluded Nawroz.