Afghan chief promises World Cup upsets

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Afghanistan’ triumph over Zimbabwe was far from a surprise to the man who runs the game in the war-torn and he has warned cricket’ establishment to brace itself for more shocks at the next year.
The Asian greenhorns beat Zimbabwe by wickets in Bulawayo for their second win against a test-playing in the 50-over format, following a 32-run victory over Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in March.
The victory added to the festivity for the Afghans in the holy month of Ramadan and celebrations had not stopped since, Noor Muhammad Murad, the executive of the country’ cricket board, told Reuters.
“Frankly speaking, we were expecting this win. We don’t want the players to underestimate themselves and so there will be no added incentive or bonus,” Noor said from Kabul in an .
“Our vision is big and the target is very high.”
Cricket gained popularity in Afghanistan after the refugees who had fled while the country was ravaged by the Soviet war started returning home in the 1990s.
In June 2013, the International Cricket Council, the world governing body, granted Afghanistan associate status, which is the second tier of membership behind the 10 test-playing .[eap_ad_2]
In their Asia Cup debut in March, Afghanistan claimed their first win over a test-playing against Bangladesh while playing only their fourth one-day international against a full member.
Afghanistan will their 50-over debut next year and ’s win proved their preparation for the tournament in New Zealand and Australia was the right track, Noor said.
“We had rested a few seniors from the squad (for Zimbabwe) and a few new guys were included,” Noor added. “They have done very well and was the most positive aspect of the victory.
“It bodes well for the future of Afghanistan cricket.
“The very clear message is Afghanistan shouldn’t be taken lightly. We will play a good and tough game and we will surprise some full at the .”
Made of cricketers who got their first taste of the sport while living at refugee camps in neighbouring , Afghanistan lack experience of playing at the top level.
Noor hoped their consistent performance would eventually lead to bilateral series against the test-playing .
“We hope the full will take us more seriously and consider us not just for ICC events but also bilateral series,” Noor said.
“Afghanistan has a huge fan following across the world and you will witness during next year’s World Cup.
“We have the ability to attract more crowd to the ground and the players have also shown that they can play good cricket.” ([eap_ad_3]