The Spirit of Afghanistan

The Spirit of Afghanistan

When you go to the field to play cricket, you need to have a positive mindset, a positive body language. Often when you lose a match badly or you lose matches on the trot, your confidence level goes down.

You suddenly start doubting your team and yourself. You just sometimes forget the art of wining. There is one point when you feel that we just cannot win. Your body language reflects this fact. But I know this one team which goes on the field every time with full zeal and energy. They are not afraid of losing. They just want to go out there and play hard but fair cricket.

They go out there with a nothing to lose attitude. They give it their all on the field each time and go down fighting in each game. They are one and only – The Afghanistan Team. A few years I did not even know that Afghanistan had a cricket team. But in the last year they have come up.

They have lost more than half of the games they have played and they still have the fire left in them. They play every game to win and have the ability to cause big upsets. The most recent one was when they beat West Indies in the World T20. West Indies played like champions in the whole world cup but took Afghanistan lightly. You just cannot underestimate them. Give them even a little chance and they will grab at it with both hands as “when a window of opportunity appears, you should not pull down the shade”.

Their journey from a non- recognized team to a very popular team has been a remarkable journey of resilience, hard work and team work. The contributions of Mohammad Nabi, Asghar Stanikzai and Samiullah Shenwari to Afghanistan cricket have been brilliant.

I never forget seeing the match of Afghanistan vs Australia in the World Cup 2015 where the pace duo of Dawlat Zadran and Hamid Hasan surprised the Aussies with their terrific bowling. Nobody would disagree with me on the fact that this pace duo has the capability to represent even top international team.

I think it is their spirit that makes them a splendid team. It is not easy for an associate nation to come out of nowhere and be ranked 10th in the ODI rankings and 9th in T20 rankings. They are a team which will come up in a few years and will be threat to the top international teams.

I have learnt an important lesson from them that we should not be afraid of losing. Winning and losing are part of the game. You just cannot always win. It is actually losing that teaches you much more than winning. Losing makes you analyze your mistakes and helps you to develop as a team. Afghanistan has gone through the tough phase and now are in a phase where they can make their country proud by defeating some top teams.

It is of course a long way ahead for them but they can make anything happen with their attitude. Attitude is everything in today’s modern cricket. I salute them for their spirit and I hope that they prove to be an inspiration for other associate nations like Ireland and Netherlands that if they can do it, we can do it do.

“Be Like Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is a fighter,
Afghanistan never gives up,
Afghanistan plays fearlessly,
Be like Afghanistan”.

Go Afghanistan and show the world what you can do. Enjoy every moment as you deserve it.