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    Nabi vows to inspire cricket squad

    KABUL (PAN): All-rounder Mohammad Nabi, who replaced Nawroz Mangal as Afghanistan's captain on Sunday, has promised he would try his level best to galvanise the team into proving its mettle in upcoming international events.

    The game's regularity authority named Nabi as skipper for the Asian Games campaign, replacing Mangal, under whose leadership Afghanistan gained one-day international status and qualified for the 2010 World Twenty20.

    Mangal, despite being stripped of captaincy, retained his place in the 14-man squad for the tournament that gets underway on Saturday.

    "My first priority will be to play responsibly and put the side on the same track," the new captain told Pajhwok Afghan News on Monday.

    To a question, he said captaincy would have no impact on his game. "The team and me are in a good form," he said, praising his predecessor as a legend.

    He said Mangal had a key role in bringing Afghanistan to its current status and that his experience and contribution would continue to be required.

    About several defeats in a row against the Pakistanis in recent past, Nabi said the matches were warm-up events in which young players were given a chance to play.

    He said the matches in Pakistan were part of preparations in the lead-up to the series against Scotland in the ICC Intercontinental Cup in the UAE.

    The skipper said the squad for the UAE matches included experienced players and that they had devised a plan for the event. He welcomed the comeback of Hamid Hassan, Shehzad Mohammadi and Mirwais Ashraf, saying it would lend strength to the side.

    While, ex-skipper Mangal said his replacement was a decision of the board and that he whole-heartedly endorsed it.

    He told Pajhwok Afghan News it was the ACB that appointed him as captain, removed him and then gave him a second chance to lead the side and now once again the board removed him as captain.

    He said he was a cricketer and his job was to play cricket, whether as a captain or an ordinary player. He said he was ready to captain the side whenever given the chance to do so.

    He praised Nabi as a mature player who served as his deputy during his four years as captain. Mangal said Nabi had leadership skills. "Nabi and I play for Afghanistan and we have the same motive of bringing homelaurels," the former skipper concluded.

    ma/mud



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