Printed: June 17, 2018 three:48:54 am
Battered by a Shikhar Dhawan onslaught, Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai had referred to as an on-field workforce huddle after lunch. From a distance, standing at the VIP enclosure foyer, Dawlat Ahmadzai, a former quick bowler and the Afghanistan U-19 workforce coach, murmured: “This is Test cricket”.
Ahmadzai was a part of the first group of Afghan cricketers that fashioned the foundation for a nationwide facet, again in 2001. He featured in three ODIs and two T20 internationals after his nation gained the ODI standing in 2009, however he is now celebrated again residence for recognizing Rashid Khan. About six years in the past, Ahmadzai, a nationwide selector then, ran into the prodigious expertise, whereas on a scouting mission in Jalalabad.
In its infancy, Afghanistan cricket threw up the Zadrans – Dawlat and Shapoor. The 2 quick bowlers grew to become the workforce’s pin-up boys. It’s an irony that each missed Afghanistan’s Check debut due to completely different causes. A knee harm dominated out Dawlat, whereas Shapoor wasn’t included, though he performed the T20 internationals in opposition to Bangladesh.
It’s a tradition shift that Afghanistan now rely extra on their spinners and had a slow-bowler overload in the Check squad. Ahmadzai concurred, including that Rashid’s rise has ushered in the change. “I won’t say there’s a dearth of fast-bowling talent in Afghanistan cricket. We have some exciting prospects at junior level. But Rashid’s arrival, and his rise to stardom, has somewhat changed the culture. Now the youngsters want to bowl spin. So this is a phase, when spin is dominant. But we will unearth some excellent fast bowlers in the future,” he informed The Indian Specific.
Tempo or spin, Afghanistan are actually the workforce for the future, revelling in a hit story that had a clean slate to begin with. Cricket used to evoke curiosity, when Ahmadzai and firm introduced the recreation to Kabul at the finish of their refugee lives in Pakistan. “It was very difficult. For almost nine years, we paid out of our own pocket to play the game. We used to buy the bats and balls, and our boots. For nine years, we camped at one place (Kabul), playing on a concrete pitch. Facilities had been non-existent. People used to inquire about the ‘funny’ sport that ‘nobody played’. Even our Olympic federation guys used to tell us they didn’t know the way to ‘process the novelty’. That was at the turn of the century, when the Afghan refugees returned from Pakistan,” Ahmadzai recalled.
Issues have modified drastically and now Afghanistan have home construction to nurture younger expertise.
“We have a solid domestic structure. The first step is provincial cricket followed by regional cricket. The U-19 boys come under national set-up once they start playing regional cricket. We have one first-class tournament – Ahmad Shah Abdali Tournament (a four-day tournament), played by with six teams. List A matches are played at regional and provincial levels, while T20 cricket is (going to be) franchise-based (soon),” Ahmadzai stated.
He stays a protagonist of the ‘successful story’ regardless of hanging up his boots. “These guys (the Test squad) are realising our dreams. Asghar was my team mate and so was (Mohammad) Nabi. They know our dreams and they know the struggles that took us to Test cricket. We all are all part of a successful story.”