Nabi eyes winning T20 qualifying tournament
KABUL (PAN): Not content with mere qualification, Afghanistan have set their sights on winning the 16-nation World Twenty20 qualifying tournament that begins in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday (today).
Scheduled to continue until November 30, the event features holders Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong, Italy, Namibia, Uganda, the US and the host United Arab Emirates -- all placed in Group A. Afghanistan, Bermuda, Denmark, the Netherlands, Nepal, Kenya, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Scotland are in Group B.
The top six sides will qualify for the International Cricket Council World Twenty20 2014, to be held in Bangladesh in March 2014. The 15-day contest will be played at seven venues, Dubai International Cricket Stadium and ICC Academy grounds No.1 and No.2 in Dubai, Zayed Cricket Stadium and Abu Dhabi Ovals 1 and 2 and the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Afghan skipper Mohammad Nabi said in an interview on Friday: "Just because six teams will qualify does not mean that our job becomes easier. I, therefore, believe that we need to look to win the tournament rather than just look to qualify."
He told the Associated Press that winning the ticket to the ICC Cricket World Cup was a huge moment for his nation. "Even qualifying for the World Twenty20 will trigger wild celebrations too." But he expected tough fight from sides like the Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland and Kenya.
The 28-year-old has already guided his war-battered nation to the 2015 World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
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