ICC decision good news for Afghanistan: Danish
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has praised the International Cricket Council (ICC) for keeping a 14-team format for the 2015 World Cup, allowing lower-ranked nations to continue taking part.
“This is great news for Afghanistan ....” Nasimullah Danish, ACB CEO, said in a statement.
Earlier this year, the cricket’s ruling body decided to reduce the teams to the 10 full members and had excluded Afghanistan and other associate and affiliate nations from any possibility of qualifying for the World Cup.
“It is wonderful to hear that we have a chance to qualify for the 2015 World Cup,” Danish said. He said they had felt completely shut out by the earlier decision which seemed like cricket was becoming a closed shop.
“Cricket is the most popular sport in Afghanistan.It is hard for people in the major cricketing nations to realise just what cricket means here. Our country has suffered so much and at times it seems we have little to celebrate. Cricket makes Afghans happy, it makes us celebrate.
Danish said the hopes and joys of Afghan national team were linked to the hopes and joys of the country . "Their hurts and sadness are the hurts and sadness of the whole country.”
In the last World Cup, he said, Afghanistan came close to qualifying and this time the side will try again at least to have the chance to try and avail the opportunity.
“We want to thank the ICC for looking again at their earlier decision and for opening the way for the newer cricketing nations to be able to be involved at the world level,” Danish said.
He said the decision meant that Afghanistan had to work hard now, especially after losses during a recent tour of Pakistan in order to improve the side's performance.
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