x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Kabir Khan calls on the neighbours to help Afghanistan

Kabir Khan, the Afghanistan coach, is pleading with Bangladesh, India and Pakistan to help his team make an impact in their maiden World Cup appearance in 2015 in Australia and New Zealand.

Kabir Khan, coach of Afghanistan cricket team, says he is hoping Bangladesh, India and Pakistan will play friendlies and tournament with them to help prepare for the 2015 World Cup. Pawan Singh / The National
Kabir Khan, coach of Afghanistan cricket team, says he is hoping Bangladesh, India and Pakistan will play friendlies and tournament with them to help prepare for the 2015 World Cup. Pawan Singh / The National

SHARJAH // Kabir Khan, the Afghanistan coach, is pleading with India and Pakistan to help his team make an impact in their maiden World Cup appearance in 2015 in Australia and New Zealand.

Afghanistan booked their place in the game’s global showpiece by beating Kenya by seven wickets in Sharjah on Friday and now will look for crucial support from defending champions India and 1992 winners Pakistan.

“I would like to play more against the Full Member countries in the lead up to the World Cup,” Kabir said.

“I’m expecting that our neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, will play some matches against us and help us prepare for our biggest tournament.”

Afghanistan were playing in the fifth tier of international cricket just five years ago and have twice qualified for the World Twenty20 tournament, in 2010 and 2012.

But one-day clashes with the world’s leading nations have been limited to just two – a seven-wicket loss to Pakistan and a 66-run defeat to Australia in Sharjah in 2012.

“I’m expecting a great response in Australia and New Zealand,” Kabir said. “The big teams will like to punish us but ... we’ll try to show the world what we’re capable of.” Afghanistan will play their opening match of the 2015 World Cup against Bangladesh at Canberra on February 18.

They will also face Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, England and another qualifier side who have yet to be determined.