Afghanistan skipper Asghar Stanikzai missed the initial stage of the World Cup an appendix surgery but now is elated to see his team qualify for the main draw of the 2019 World Cup.
Having won just one match from the group stage, Afghanistan made it to the Super six stage where they bettered their performance.
Afghanistan defeated the likes of Windies, UAE and Ireland on their way to making it to the finals of the qualifiers. Afghanistan will now play Windies in the final on 25th March.
Stanikzai had mixed reactions after helping his team reach the finals scoring an unbeaten 39 against Ireland in Harare.
“I’m not feeling well, I’m still feeling pain inside, especially when I was going for big shots,” Stanikzai told the media, via an interpreter. But we have to sacrifice and fight for our country and that’s what we did, added Stanikzai".
“When the country needs me I will be there, I forget about the pain and I’m proud to add my contribution".
“It was a dream of every player to qualify and it’s come true. The guys are very happy and they deserve it for the way they played. I can’t express how happy they will be back home.
“We didn’t even have a 10 percent chance to qualify but the support from back home...it was not just a dream of our guys, but of Afghanistan as well. We want to dedicate this to all the people back home who supported us.”
Young leggie Rashid Khan was initially handed captaincy duties when regular skipper Stanikzai was hospitalized. However, since his return, Afghanistan has looked a different team.
Three confident victories with performances from different players of the team and he has now brought the team in a position where they can win against the Windies for the second team.