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World Cup 2015: National squad off to Australia

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AT-KABUL: After receiving best wishes from President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, the national cricket team on Friday left for Australia to attend the Cricket World Cup 2015.

The national squad met with President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah before their trip to Australia. The Afghan team has played test matches in international events but they are participating in the World Cup 2015 as their debut.

The ACB spokesman, Mohammad Farid Hotak, told Afghanistan Times that the national squad earned the support and wishes of the unity government leaders and they left the country with high morale and great enthusiasm to play in the international event and once again bring pride to the nation and smile on the faces of Afghans.

He urged Afghans to pray for success of the national team. “The team has gone through a six-month period of preparation for the tournament. They are well-prepared. Hope they see the outcome of their struggles they made and bring pride to the nation as they did before,” he added.

President Ghani during his meeting with the cricket team welcomed them and said the entire nation has prayed success of the national players in the important event. He said all Afghans are proud of their cricketers as they have several times brought smile on their faces after their victories in international events.

Ghani said he has directed the Afghan embassy in Australia to pay all-out efforts to support the squad.

The Chief Executive Abdullah met the national squad at Hamid Karzai International Airport. He said that he is pretty sure that the national team would prove its bravery and courage as well as capability and would bring more honor and pride to the nation.

According to the ACB, young players have also been given the chance to play in the World Cup 2015 in Australia as they have played well in previous events abroad. The Afghan squad will play four warm up matches ahead of the tournament and will play against Bangladesh in their first match of the world cup. Afghanistan will play six matches against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand and England.

According to a recent decision of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Afghan cricket team has received the direct permission to enter Cricket World Cup 2017.