Afghanistan face Pakistan in historic T20 on Sunday
Afghanistan Cricket Board’s spokesman Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News the national side had started brief exercises in Dubai. "We have resolved our problems and we hope to defeat Pakistan."
Meanwhile, the Afghan team, who holds the previous championship title for the Intercontinental Cup, will stand against Ireland in the final match of the Intercontinental Competitions.
The match against former world champions Pakistan will give another boost to Afghanistan as they will meet for the first time in Sharjah on Sunday.
Afghanistan received one-day status during their narrowly missed opportunity to qualify for the 2011 World Cup before progressing to two back-to-back World Twenty20 tournaments in 2010 and 2012.
Afghanistan secured Associate membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC) this year, when the side for the first time qualified for the 50-over World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
Billed as one of the best Associate teams, the national team last month qualified for the World Twenty20 to be held in Bangladesh next year.
Afghanistan's Pakistan coach Kabir Khan told a foreign news agency on Friday his team was hugely excited for Sunday's game.
Kabir, who played four Tests and 10 one-days for Pakistan in 1990s, said it would be a historic and a challenging match for them. “If we do well then the world will take more notice." Kabir said Pakistan have always provided his team with golden opportunities.
Sunday's Twenty20 will be Afghanistan's fifth against a Test playing country as they lost to India and South Africa in the 2010 World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and then went down against England and India two years later in Sri Lanka.
Pakistan's T20 captain Mohammad Hafeez refused to take Afghanistan lightly. "They are a dangerous side..they have qualified for the 2015 World Cup and the World Twenty20 through hard work and since they are a dangerous side we will not take them lightly."
Hafeez, himself under pressure for his miserable batting form, admitted Ajmal, who has most T20 wickets (77 in 57 matches) will be missed.
Teams (from): Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (capt), Merwais Ashraf, Hamid Hassan, Amir Hamza Hotak, Afsar Khan, Nawroz Mangal, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Shahzad, Asghar Stanikzai, Hashmatullah Shaidi, Samiullah Shinwari, Najeebullah Zadran, Shapor Zadran, Dawlat Khan Zadran, Izzatullah Dawlatzai.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Zulfiqar Babar, Bilawal Bhatti, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Anwar Ali, Haris Sohail.
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