Afghanistan Skipper Nawroz Elated

DUBAI — Afghanistan have qualified for Twenty20 World Cup to be held in West Indies from April 30 to May 16. It was the biggest day in Afghanistan cricket because it will be their debut in a major tournament.

By Liaqat Ali

Published: Tue 16 Feb 2010, 12:03 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:31 AM

Captain Nawroz Mangal while talking to Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview expressed his happiness over the the qualification. Nawroz said: “It was dream come true for the team. We missed to play 2011 World Cup by a narrow margin but now we have done in a style.

“We are looking forward to playing India in St Lucia and South Africa in Barbados in the big event.

“I have no words to explain my feelings but there is lot to be done and we are ready to learn more and improve our game. The best thing which has happened to Afghan cricket is the appointment of coach Kabir Khan. He is everything to us. He is a teacher and we are ready to obey his orders.

“He has brought discipline among us and taught us all the manners. I hope he will stay with us for a longer period.”

Nawroz, who migrated to Pakistan at the age of seven because of Russian war, has spent 15 years in Peshawar and is still a regular visitor to the city. He learned the ABC of cricket from Pakistan and is still playing for Malik Club in Peshawar.

He said: “I used to like football in my childhood but when Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup in Australia there were huge celebrations. Youngsters started playing cricket in streets and I was one of them. I learned the game fast and became a hot property. Different clubs used to invite me for matches. We used to play with tennis ball.”

It was not an easy road for Nawroz to reach this level as he said: “I faced a number of difficulties to play cricket. My family wanted me to study and leave the game. There were financial problems also. I will not forget the gestures of my close friends like Sarmast Afridi, Imran Sherzada and Khalil Shinwar for giving me money to by pads, gloves and bats. “My elder brother Yar Zaman Mangal who is a lecturer in Islamabad is the real force behind my career. He helped in every aspect.”

About his selection in the team Nawroz said: “I went to Khost and came to know that trials are being held to select Afghan team. I went there and got selected. I scored the first century in domestic cricket. But we need infrastructure in the country.

“This victory will go along way in improving cricket in Afghanistan. New academies and grounds are coming up which is a good sign for Afghanistan.”

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