Afghanistan has been able to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 competition and Hamid Hassan is still soaking up the achievements. In the qualifying event held in Dubai, Hassan proved out to be the key bowler for the Afghanistan squad as the team crushed Ireland at the tournament by and also took 3 wickets for 14 runs in the Super Four round.
Currently Afghanistan is a country trapped in headlines for making news as coalition forces have launched a huge offensive against the Taliban. In such a situation, the nation’s cricket team gave some good news from the Middle East for its countrymen to cheer and celebrate about. The team captured the Trophy after defeating Ireland in an eight-wicket win that also helped them excel in the cricket ranks. Earlier, the team had nearly missed out qualifying for the 2011 World Cup however saved losing their ODI status in time.
Hassan expressed from Sharjah, “I’ve got a lot of messages on my Facebook fan page and have lots of calls from back home. Everyone was very happy and when we won the final two nights ago they all came out onto the road and celebrated all night until about three or four in the morning. Everyone is waiting for us to go home so we can celebrate together.” Currently the team is preparing itself for a one day international match with Canada. Hassan further added, “It’s a dream come true for us and a fantastic achievement for Afghanistan so all the people at home are very happy and are waiting for us to come back to Afghanistan. Nobody knows about Afghanistan for sports so this is a good step for us to get a title and qualify for the World Cup to play against sides like India and South Africa. Everyone is happy and just wanted to celebrate.”
Hassan holds high hopes for his team and believes they are qualified enough to take on other stronger opponents. He is eager to deliver his balls against Indian master blaster Virender Sehwag, “I’ll try my best to get him out and hope he doesn’t get many runs against us.” Having taken on two of the stronger sides at the recent qualifiers, Afghanistan is considered capable to defy huge odds. As for Hassan, his hopes are stretching to sky high ambitions. Now that one of his dream of playing in the Caribbean has been fulfilled, he is hopeful that the other dreams of playing overseas at IPL or in England would soon see the daylight. “I’d love to play county cricket in England and I’m always looking for a chance. Or if I get a chance in the IPL I’ll do my best. If I play for a county I’d want it to be with Lancashire because Andrew Flintoff plays for them and he’s my favourite player.”
Hassan has played against Flintoff at the Lord’s when he was an ambitious MCC Young Cricketer and though the Englishman currently lives in Dubai, Hassan was unable to meet his hero.