be determined. Two more Associate teams, like Afghanistan and Ireland, will have a chance to qualify in New Zealand next year.
Nabi was quick to warn the big teams in his pool to watch out for Afghanistan. “Maybe we know about the weaknesses of some teams ... we will do better and do our best to beat some full member teams,” he said.
Division 5 to elite group
It was only five years ago when Afghanistan was playing in World Cricket League Division 5 -- the lowest ranked tournament among the affiliate members.
But since then Afghanistan has made rapid progress, and its status was raised to an Associate member. “Afghanistan’s journey has been a remarkable one,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said in congratulating the team.
UAE also played an important part in the Afghans’ progress, as Sharjah has been their home base for at least two years. They have competed against Australia and Pakistan in ODIs at Sharjah.
In 2010, Afghanistan qualified for the World T20 in West Indies, and last year played in the World T20 in Sri Lanka. Afghanistan didn’t win a match in either. Khan said he hoped ICC full member neighbours such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will help Afghanistan prepare for the World Cup by playing ODIs with them.
“It’s always helpful when you play against full member countries, unfortunately we don’t get much chance to play against them,” he said. “I think at least neighboring countries like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka should help us.”
With time to prepare, Khan hopes Afghanistan makes a statement in 2015. “We just want to leave our mark (at the World Cup) and we want other teams to notice us,” he said.
Fast bowler Hamid Hasan helped to restrict Kenya to only seven runs in the first 10 overs with some superb swing bowling, and clean-bowled tailenders Nelson Odhiambo and Hiren Varaiya off successive deliveries. “I’ve already lost all my words, but I am so, so happy. This is the happiest day of my life,” Hasan said. “To me it’s unbelievable, a dream come true.”
Brief Scores: Kenya 93 all out in 43.3 ov (Morris