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Friday, February 17, 2012
Kabul (BNA) The Afghan Women National Football Team defeated Qatar Women Football Team 2-0 yesterday afternoon.
In this competition which was held on the host of Qatar yesterday, the Afghan women football team in a friendly match defeated the Qatar women football team 2-0.
The scorers of this competition were Marjan Haidari and Sabera from the Afghan National Football Team.
It said that seven Afghan players have been invited from America to the Afghan National team.
T.Rateb

Thursday 16 February 2012,

(BNA)

ABU DHABI: He is the face of Afghan cricket with a story fit for the big screen, and he embodies not only his nation’s turbulent past, but its hopes for a brighter future.

When Nawroz Mangal led Afghanistan against Pakistan last week, it was the end of a long journey which started with his family’s flight from Soviet troops, and continued when he picked up bat and ball as a young refugee.

According to Mangal, now 27, the enduring legacy from those tough days in hard-scrabble Pakistani border camps is a love of cricket which has now blossomed into a successful international career.

“That period was difficult for all the family,” the Afghan captain told press

“We were financially hit and living in refugee camps was very tough on us.

“The best part of those ugly days was that I learnt this beautiful game of cricket.”

It was “this beautiful game” which pitted Mangal’s Afghanistan against Pakistan for their first top-level one-day international in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, with the debutants losing by seven wickets.

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Mangal is the figurehead for Afghanistan’s cricket revolution as the most recognisable player of a squad which learned the game on rudimentary pitches in the Pakistani camps.

But he says the biggest obstacle to his cricket career was his father, who wanted him to follow his two brothers by becoming a doctor and looking after the injured soldiers and civilians in his war-ravaged homeland.

It took skilful persuasion from coach Taj Malik — one of the pioneers of cricket in Afghanistan — who travelled to the border camp to convince Mangal’s father of his son’s talent.

Mangal calls those early days “hard to forget”.

But once the Taliban were overthrown by US-led troops and Afghan Mujahidin  in 2001, Mangal and his family returned home and the Afghanistan cricket team was founded. He was then selected for the Asian Cricket Council Trophy in Oman in 2004.

“It was a dream come true for me,” said Mangal.

“While playing in the dusty refugee camps I never realised that I could make it that big, and in Oman I was playing with some top ranked players and I performed.”

Although Afghanistan were knocked out in the quarter-finals, Mangal finished as leading scorer for his team with 271 runs. Three years later, he was named captain of his country.

“With the recognition by International Cricket Council and help from the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) we managed to get tours and facilities and gradually our team improved before we achieved our biggest target in 2009,” Mangal recalled.

That year, Afghanistan became the first affiliate nation to gain full one-day status when they finished fifth in the World Cup qualifying event held in South Africa, only narrowly missing a berth at the 2011 tournament.

The success prompted President Hamid Karzai to form the national cricket board, allocating grants and promising facilities to further harness talent.

And in 2010, Afghanistan won a qualifying tournament to compete alongside the world’s top 10 nations at the World Twenty20 event in the West Indies.

Afterwards, crowds thronged Kabul airport to welcome their newest heroes.

“Qualifying for the World Twenty20 was a great achievement and we were on cloud nine as everyone was talking of our achievement. I think that lifted cricket in Afghanistan more than any other thing,” said Mangal.

By 2010 cricket overtook football as Afghanistan’s most popular game, according to the Afghan board, with more facilities and children now playing on the street — something that was unthinkable under the Taliban.

“It has changed totally,” said Mangal.

“Now you can see kids playing cricket on the streets, something unimaginable in the past.

“With more and more facilities and the team achieving more milestones I think cricket will attain more heights in Afghanistan.”

According to Afghanistan team manager Shafiq Stanakzai, Mangal will play an important part in that success.

“You need role models for every sport and Mangal is ours in cricket. He is cool, wise and inspiring so with him in our team more and more youth will follow the path he and his team-mates have carved,” said Stanakzai

Sunday 12 February 2012

(BNA)

 

SHARJAH: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq Saturday praised the Afghan team's fighting spirit despite their loss in a one-day international to his side, saying they could give other teams a tough time.

Pakistan beat Afghanistan by seven wickets in the first-ever one-day international between the two countries here on Friday.

Despite losing, Afghanistan put up a spirited show before a 15,000-strong crowd, hitting six sixes in their 195 and taking two early wickets when Pakistan batted.

Misbah said he was impressed by Afghanistan's performance.

"It was a good game. The way the Afghanistan team played I am really happy. They have some really good, exciting cricketers," he said, adding it was "a good beginning" for the Afghan side.

Afghanistan earned one-day status in 2009 and have since achieved several milestones, qualifying for the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and finishing silver medallists in the Asian Games in China, both in 2010.

They also won the Inter-Continental Cup, meant for associate teams, in 2010.

"I think Afghanistan can give tough time to Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and even to better teams. It is all about experience and if they play more cricket against good teams in the world, they are going to improve."

Misbah said Afghanistan were a dangerous limited over side.

"T20 or for one-day, this is a dangerous side. They can still improve and they have excellent fighting spirit. They put in a lot of effort in fielding."

Leg-spinner Shahid Afridi took 5-36 which kept Afghanistan to 195, still a good total in Misbah's opinion.

Paceman Dawlat Zadran then dismissed opener Mohammad Hafeez (eight) and Asad Shafiq (20) before Younis Khan (70 not out) and Imran Farhat (52) saw Pakistan through in the 38th over.

"Their fast bowlers bowled really well and their batting start was very good. I think on this wicket batting was not easy and the score of 195 was really good because even Sri Lanka had struggled on this wicket last year," said Misbah.

"They have many positives to take from this game."

Afghanistan captain Nawroz Mangal said he was satisfied with his team's performance.

"Our start was very good. Unfortunately the middle order collapsed and that prevented us from making a big score but we got two early wickets and overall I am satisfied with my team's performance against a top side," said Mangal.

Mangal, 27, said there were several lessons for his team.

"We learned a lot from this game. The most significant thing which we learned from this game... is the maturity how to play a one-day game, especially against a tougher side."

Afghanistan will play in the World Twenty20 qualifiers in the United Arab Emirates next month

 

Saturday 11 February 2012

(BNA)

AUCKLAND: Martin Guptill's continued domination of the Zimbabwe bowling steered New Zealand to a seven-wicket win with 19 balls to spare in the opening Twenty20 match at Eden Park Saturday.

Guptill's imperious 91 not out off 54 deliveries was the backbone of New Zealand's 160 for three, and along with Kane Williamson (48), they overtook Zimbabwe's 159 for eight in the 17th over.

The New Zealand opener has seldom been troubled by the Zimbabwe attack and his 91 was his fifth successive half-century against the tourists following 51, 70, 77 and 85 in the Test and three one-day internationals.

His partnership with Williamson put on 137 for the third wicket after New Zealand made a shaky start to their run chase.

In an eventful second over, the first two deliveries from Kyle Jarvis were dispatched to the boundary by Rob Nicol before the bowler dismissed both Nicol and Brendon McCullum in two legitimate balls separated by a wide.

New Zealand were then in trouble at two for 15 but Zimbabwe were unable to cash in on the pressure and it was to be another 15 others before they were able to take a third wicket.

After 10 overs, New Zealand were 101 for two and the outcome was already assured. There was no sign of any respite for Zimbabwe in a nightmare tour where they have been thrashed in the one-off Test and three ODIs.

Guptill raced ahead hitting five fours and six sixes while a more circumspect Williamson reached 48 before he was run out taking an unnecessary single when New Zealand were then only eight runs short of their target.

Two balls later and the game was over with Guptill belting a six and a two leaving debutant batsman Colin de Grandhomme to have a brief time in the middle and not face a ball.

Jarvis was the only successful Zimbabwe bowler taking two for 32 after his side had won the toss and posted what should have been a competitive 159 for eight.

Hamilton Masakadza blasted 53 off 36 balls at the top of the innings and Elton Chigumbura finished off at the tail with 48 off 24 deliveries to contribute the bulk of the Zimbabwe runs.

Zimbabwe also had a rocky start to their innings with Brendan Taylor bowled by New Zealand debutant Michael Bates for three in the second over and Forster Mutizwa followed in the next over without scoring to be two for 16.

Bates, who also claimed Chigumbura in the final over, finished his first international bowling spell with an impressive three for 31 while Kyle Mills took two for 32.

The second Twenty20 match, and the final match of the Zimbabwe tour, will be played in Hamilton on Tuesday.