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'Teams ashamed of playing Afghanistan'

Press Trust Of India
Feb 12, 2012 at 10:46pm IST

Karachi: Afghanistan cricket Board President, Dr Umar Zakhel has said that top Test playing nations felt shame in playing matches against their national team.

Zakhel, who is also a finance minister in Afghanistan, told the "Jang" daily newspaper in Abu Dhabi that top teams avoid playing Afghanistan out of shame and embarrassment.

"I think they look at this way that if they beat us people will say so what you beat a weak and associate team.

'Teams ashamed of playing Afghanistan'

Afghanistan cricket Board President Dr Umar Zakhel wants ICC to arrange more matches for Afghanistan.

But if they are defeated by us the embarrassment would be hard to bear for them," he said.

Zakhel said it was necessary for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to arrange more matches for the Afghanistan team against Test playing nations.

Zakhel, who was in Abu Dhabi for Afghanistan's first international series against a Test playing nation, Pakistan said that cricket was flourishing in his country.

"If teams don't want to play in Afghanistan due to the conditions there then they can play against us in Sharjah which is like our home ground. I think other teams need to follow the example of Pakistan and give us exposure," he said.

Zakhel said the crowd turnout for the match against Pakistan indicated just how much interest Afghans had in cricket.

"I would urge India, Sri Lanka and other Test playing nations to also follow Pakistan's example and play some international matches against us. This exposure is essential for us if we are to improve as a cricket playing nation."

The Afghan cricket board head said that although his country had full one-day international status it was disappointing that Afghanistan was not included in the upcoming Asia Cup and neither had any Test playing nation scheduled any matches against them.

"Not getting a place in the Asia Cup is very disappointing for us. I am confident that if we get more exposure against the Test playing nations there is no reason why Afghanistan can't make rapid progress as a cricket nation and join the top teams," he said.

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