Afghanistan eye step closer to World Cup

Updated: 06 October 2008 10:13 IST

Players from Afghanistan hope to take another step closer to the 2011 World Cup when they tackle five other contenders in the latest qualifying round.

Afghanistan eye step closer to World Cup

Dar Es Salaam:

Players from war-torn Afghanistan hope to take another step closer to the 2011 World Cup when they tackle five other contenders in the latest qualifying round which starts on Saturday.

Afghanistan will compete against Hong Kong, Jersey, Fiji, Italy and hosts Tanzania for the top two places in the ICC World Cricket League Division Four which will ensure spots in Division Three.

The top two sides there will progress to the World Cup Qualifier in April 2009, with the top four sides from that making it to Asia in 2011.

"It's our dream to qualify for the 2011 World Cup," said Afghanistan fast bowler Hamid Hassan.

"I couldn't explain the feelings of happiness and joy if we get to achieve that. It will be a matter of pride for us to be watched live by the whole world on TV while representing Afghanistan."

Afghanistan, who won promotion from the fifth division earlier this year, have a new coach in former Pakistan international Kabir Khan.

Despite Afghanistan's optimism, it will be Hong Kong, coached by former England batsman Aftab Habib, who will start as favourites but Italy and Jersey, coached by former South Africa Test batsman Peter Kirsten, are also strong.

Fiji will be hopeful of qualification despite missing injured all-rounder Neil Maxwell, a former Australia A player.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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