“We need to stay optimistic about the future of Afghanistan”


Syed Zafar Mehdi

Lina Rozbih-Haidari is an acclaimed Afghan journalist working with Voice of America (VOA). She is also an award-winning Dari language writer and poet

Q. When did you leave the country and what are your earliest memories of growing up in Afghanistan?
A.
 I left Afghanistan in late 1980s. My family was originally from Herat but we lived in Kabul. My earliest memories are associated with the neighborhood we lived in, my school, my classmates and relatives we had in Kabul. I also have vivid memories of Eid celebrations, family events, birth of my youngest sister that happened during war, and the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet forces.

Q. A large majority of Afghans are now based abroad, mostly in Europe and U.S. How difficult is the cultural adjustment, especially for someone coming from a third world country?
A.
 Life for me as an Afghan was much more difficult in Iran and Pakistan where we lived as refugees. Even though we shared same religion but my rights were limited as a refugee. I was not allowed to go to school in Iran; the treatment meted out to Afghan refugees was far from civilized; the basic human rights were taken away from them.

It was the same situation in Pakistan, where many Afghan refugees had settled during the war. Dealing with police officials in Peshawar was nightmarish. So, when I moved to Canada, I was happy because they respected my identity, my religion and the freedom to be who I wanted to be. I studied in Canada and I used to go to university wearing hijab. They fully respected my ideology and my beliefs. I hardly ever came across any bias or prejudice in that country as an Afghan Muslim woman.

I respected their laws and they respected my identity. From Canada, I moved to the United States, and I was accorded the same respect here as in Canada. Both these countries, compared to Iran and Pakistan, were easiest for me.

Q. It is safe to suggest that as an Afghan living and working abroad, you have not faced any stereotype, prejudice or racism in West?
A.
 As a Muslim woman and as an Afghan refugee, the law applies to me same way as it does to any U.S. citizen. I was given the opportunity to work here and I got all the support I wanted. There was nothing that barred me from pursuing my goals in life here.

Q. When you come across the news reports about suicide attacks, violence against women and children in your come country, how do you react?
A.
 Given my profession, I deal with news from Afghanistan on daily basis. Most of the time, it does affect me emotionally and psychologically. I become depressed, angry, outraged and sad. I have a fan page on Facebook where I keep posting poetry and other random musings. One thing I have noticed is that a lot of people share the pain and concern but many people tell me that it is not as bad as it is being portrayed.

As an Afghan living abroad, I mostly come across negative stories about Afghanistan, but when I read the comments of people on my Facebook page, I realize how we overlook the positive developments taking place in Afghanistan. We just need to keep going and stay optimistic about the future of Afghanistan.

Q. Do you believe the Afghans who are settled abroad should return home and help in rebuilding their country especially with the political and security transition happening now?
A.
 I believe it is important for every educated Afghan who has something to offer to country to go back. However, when I think about going back, it is not the war and violence that keeps me away from my country; it is the gap in mentality that I have developed and the mentality of people in Afghanistan.

My fear is if I go back, they will not be able to understand me fully and I will not be able to understand them fully. This gap in mentalities has happened over the period of time and it is important to bridge this gap.

Q. Tell us a bit about the work you do?
A.
 I moved from Canada to the U.S. after my marriage and started working with Voice of America in 2004 as a radio broadcaster. Three years later, they launched Aashna TV for Afghanistan and I was chosen as the main anchor. Since then I have been anchoring this show being broadcasted from Washington and telecasted throughout Afghanistan. My affair with journalism happened by accident when I was looking for a job and I think it is the best decision I have made because it has helped me stay in touch with Afghanistan and the daily news coming from there.

Q. As they say, you can take the person out of country, but you can’t country out of the person. What is the one thing that makes you proud as an Afghan?
A.
 Adhering to the traditional Afghan lifestyle even in western countries is something I am proud of. I still have the same lifestyle and values as women in Afghanistan and that is one thing I shall never give up.

(http://www.afghanzariza.com/2014/11/11/we-need-to-stay-optimistic-about-the-future-of-afghanistan)

Advertisements

Esa Khan, who thwarted parliament attack, becomes toast of the nation

Fawzia Koofi with Esa Khan.jpg

Syed Zafar Mehdi

Holding an assault rifle in his hands, Esa Khan quite animatedly pointed towards the corpses of six insurgents he had mowed down after an intense gunfight on Monday.

As cameras zoomed in, the Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier demonstrated how he single-handedly won the battle against the marauding insurgents. He spoke with exemplary passion and valor, something you associate only with a triumphant soldier.

A crowd of joyous military personnel and journalists soon gathered around him, and 28-year-old brave soldier from Paghman turned emotional. Defending the country from insurgents, he said, is his sacred duty.

Esa Khan was not a mere mortal anymore. He was not just another nameless soldier. He was a superman who had thwarted a major terrorist attack and saved hundreds of precious lives, including those of senior government officials.

As the videos of his heroics began to circulate on social media, Esa Khan became the toast of the troubled country. Facebook and Twitter were replete with posts celebrating his extraordinary bravery.

In an interview with a local news channel on Monday, Esa Khan said he is swollen with pride for defending the country from insurgents.

“I am happy to be alive and proud to have defended my country,” he said. “I was prepared to defend my country with every drop of my blood.”

He said they had received intelligence information that a terrorist attack was planned on parliament so precautionary measures had been put in place.

To acknowledge his chivalry, President Ashraf Ghani invited him to the presidential palace on Tuesday and felicitated him in the presence of senior government and security officials including Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Interior Minister Nurulhaq Ulumi and National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar.

A statement issued by President Ghani said Esa Khan had been awarded a new home for his exemplary resolve and heroism.

Esa Khan has managed to galvanize the whole country in a spirit of unity and brotherhood, which illustrates why soldiers are the best ambassadors of national unity.

According to reports, at least nine parliamentarians have announced that they will be giving their one month’s salary to Esa Khan to acknowledge and appreciate his heroic endeavor.

General Abdul Raziq, the chief of police in southern Kandahar province, has announced the reward of 5000 USD for him while former Nangarhar governor Gul Agha Sherzai has announced 3 lac Afghanis.

A total of seven insurgents carried out the complex attack on parliament in Kabul on Monday. All of them were killed following an operation that lasted more than three hours.

At least five civilians were also killed and 31 others injured, including 5 parliamentarians, according to reports.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack. He said the group deliberately targeted the parliament on Monday because the new Minister of Defense was due to be introduced.

The attack was widely condemned. In a statement issued by his office, President Ghani said targeting innocent people in the holy month of Ramadan is a “clear act of hostility against the religion of Islam” and the perpetrators are “criminals who are bound by no creed or religion”.

Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah also condemned the attack in strongest terms and commended the brave Afghan security forces for thwarting the “heinous attack”.

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) termed it a “clear and deliberate affront to democracy” and expressed “deep concern” over the reports of civilian casualties from the attack.

NATO’s Resolute Support also issued a statement to condemn the attack and commended Afghan security forces for their “swift response that suppressed attackers and prevented further injury”.

(First published in Afghan Zariza)

ACB and Alokozay Group sign ten-year sponsorship deal for development of cricket in Afghanistan

Post

Shafiqullah Stanikzai, Chief Executive Officer of ACB and Mirwais Syal, Sales and Marketing Manager of Alokozay Group of Companies, signing the ten-year contract 

Syed Zafar Mehdi

Unlike the neighboring countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, cricket in Afghanistan is still in its nascent stage. Lack of financial support has been a major hurdle for budding cricketers in this country.

But things are likely to change now as many local sponsors have started showing interest in supporting the national cricket team.

Last week, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and Alokozay Group of Companies signed a lucrative sponsorship deal of 1.3 million Afs for the period of 10 years.

The deal was signed by Shafiqullah Stanikzai, the Chief Executive Officer of ACB and Mirwais Syal, Sales and Marketing Manager of Alokozay Group of Companies, in the presence of senior ACB officials.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Stanikzai emphasized the important role played by sponsors in the development of game.

The deal was signed by Shafiqullah Stanikzai, the Chief Executive Officer of ACB and Mirwais Syal, Sales and Marketing Manager of Alokozay Group of Companies, in the presence of senior ACB officials

“Unfortunately we did not have main sponsor for last one and half year. It was our top priority to find a sponsor and our efforts produced results,” said the beaming CEO, flanked by other senior ACB officials, including Dost Mohammad Nazari, the Deputy CEO of ACB.

Mr. Stanikzai spoke about the salient features of the sponsorship deal, which will be reviewed on periodic basis.

He said the sponsorship amount will be spent on development of cricket in Afghanistan, both at the national and domestic level.

In his remarks, Mr.Syal said it is a matter of pride for his company to sponsor the national cricket team, which has brought many laurels to the country.

He said his company is committed to support cricket in Afghanistan on a long-term basis.

In an interview with Afghan Zariza recently, Mr. Stanikzai underscored the importance of attracting sponsors to support the game of cricket in Afghanistan.

Local sponsors, he stressed, can play a major role in the development of cricket in Afghanistan.

“It all boils down to attracting them with proper proposals and convincing them that cricket has a large audience in Afghanistan,” said Mr. Stanikzai.

“This is a huge marketing opportunity for private sector companies and I am pretty confident the new ACB administration will be able to do that,” he added.

He also spoke about the need to strengthen domestic cricket, which he said is“one of our top priorities right now”.

In an interview with Afghan Zariza recently, Mr. Stanikzai underscored the importance of attracting sponsors to support the game of cricket in Afghanistan

“Building infrastructure and providing facilities to domestic cricketers is critical to the future of cricket in this country. I also want to make ACB a financially self-sufficient organization,” he said.

Afghanistan national cricket team has remarkably evolved over the years, despite limited resources and enormous hardships.

This year, Afghanistan made its maiden appearance in the World Cup. Although the team failed to qualify for the knockout stage, they performed way above the expectations in the biggest cricketing carnival.

In the six matches Afghanistan played, they won one and lost five. They had their moments in this World Cup, beating Scotland in a thriller and almost pulling off a memorable upset against Sri Lanka.

(http://www.afghanzariza.com/2015/05/25/acb-and-alokozay-group-sign-tenyear-sponsorship-deal-for-development-of-cricket-in-afghanistan)

“I think we need more balance in the media to show positive and negative”


Syed Zafar Mehdi

Fariba Nawa is a journalist, speaker, lecturer and author of Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan. She is based in the U.S.

Q. When did you leave the country and what are your earliest memories of growing up in Afghanistan?

A. I left Herat, Afghanistan in 1982 and my earliest memories before the war include going to picnics, fishing on the Helmand River in Lashkargah, playing in my family’s orchard in Herat and being a happy child in a peaceful country.

Q. A large majority of Afghans are now based abroad, mostly in Europe and U.S. How difficult is the cultural adjustment, especially for someone coming from a third world country?

A. I am an Afghan-American because I grew up here. In the U.S. as compared to Europe, it is easier to adjust because it is easier to assimilate. Everyone was an immigrant here at some point, and so there is a certain respect for being different. But I think once you become an exile, you will always be an exile. The concept of home becomes the people around you rather than the place. At least, that is how I feel. Therefore, I can live anywhere in the world if my loved ones are with me.

Q. As an Afghan living and working abroad, have you faced any stereotype, prejudice or racism?

A. Of course, we all do. I think that exists everywhere in the world. But post 9/11, Muslims are dealing with an unprecedented Islamophobia in the U.S. In my case, it is mostly in reactions to what I write. Many racists will respond with negative, hurtful comments.

Q. When you come across the news reports about suicide attacks, violence against women and children in your home country, how do you react?

A. Upset. I think we need more balance in the media to show the positive and negative. However, Afghans need to confront the negative and stop blaming everybody else for their problems.

Q. Do you believe the Afghans who are settled abroad should return home and help in rebuilding their country especially with the political and security transition happening now?

A. It is ideal for Afghans to come back but for those of us with children, there needs to be more security to return. The main reason I stay away is because of my two girls. I grew up during war after 1978 and I do not want to raise my kids in a war zone. I know how damaging it can be.

Q. Tell us a bit about the work you do?

A. I am a journalist, speaker, author and lecturer. I teach journalism and speak about various issues, such as human rights and war, to audiences across the U.S. and internationally. I write about whatever issue that interests me, but often that includes Afghanistan or Islamic societies. I wrote Opium Nation, a book that explored women’s roles in the Afghan drug trade. I worked in South Asia and the Middle East from 2000 to 2007. I am working on a second book about Afghans in the U.S.

Q. As they say, you can take the person out of country, but you cannot take country out of the person. What is the one thing that makes you proud as an Afghan?

A. The importance of being there for those you love, especially family.

Q. How do you view the latest political developments in Afghanistan, especially the formation of national unity government?

A. The second round of elections was a waste of time and money. They should have created this unity government after the first round. The voting process was crucial because it gave Afghans a voice.

Most of us in the diaspora were happily shocked at the turnout. It meant Afghans did not want the Taliban to return and were willing to risk their lives for it.

The unity government seems to be bringing hope to many Afghans and I hope that this coalition can tackle some of the problems Karzai could not, including security, corruption and the economy. First Lady Rula Ghani is already making waves and talking about women’s rights. It is a different era with a tech savvy, informed generation of Afghans leading the nation. Some of them believe in pluralism and I hope they triumph over the war mongering, misogynist bigots ruining the country.

(http://www.afghanzariza.com/2014/12/03/i-think-we-need-more-balance-in-the-media-to-show-the-positive-and-negative)

Interview: “Afghanistan cricket team will surprise many at the 2015 World Cup”


Syed Zafar Mehdi

Shafiqullah Stanikzai, the newly-elected Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), in conversation with Afghan Zariza Editor Syed Zafar Mehdi.

Q. Congratulations on your new job, an important responsibility, which has come at a very crucial time, just ahead of the World Cup. How do you see your new role as the CEO of ACB?
A. 
Indeed it is a huge responsibility. I would say it is a tough challenge but an exciting one, and I hope I will enjoy it thoroughly. In my capacity as the new CEO, I will try to serve my country and deliver my services for the development of cricket in Afghanistan.

Q. Afghanistan cricket has come a long way over the past one decade. The progress has been phenomenal. Can you tell us how and when this journey of cricket started in Afghanistan?
A. 
As you said, cricket is very young in Afghanistan. The progress has been quite fast and tremendous. The journey of cricket in Afghanistan has been historic. We consider ourselves fortunate and happy to be part of this historic journey. We started with street cricket, which was not professional. We had no playground, no facilities. The only ground we had, which was located in Wazir Akbar Khan area, was lying in dilapidated condition. We used to collect small rocks and play with them. It was not a great pitch to play on, and often the ball would bounce awkwardly and cause injury to batsmen. The fielders in the outfield had to be cautious as well.

That is how it all started. We had very few cricketers and the game was not so massively popular in Afghanistan that time. It was played only in few provinces like Khost, Nangarhar, Logar, Kandahar and Kabul. Slowly and gradually, we progressed and got membership of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and International Cricket Council (ICC).

In 2004, we participated in a tournament organized by ACC in Malaysia. We performed well and defeated Malaysia in their backyard, which was a massive achievement for us. After that, we did not look back. We started travelling to different countries and playing against various ICC Affiliate teams. Following some impressive performances as an ICC Affiliate team, we were rewarded with a status of ICC Associate team. The credit goes entirely to players who showed exemplary passion and worked really hard to take this team to greater heights.

In 2010, the former president Hamid Karzai established Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), which was a significant milestone for cricket in this country. So, it has been a momentous journey so far, despite heavy odds.

Q. You spoke about the difficulties and hardships players had to face. Some of them even lived in refugee camps in Pakistan during the years of war. Do you believe cricket as a sport can be used to spread the message of peace and unity in a country like Afghanistan?
A. 
Very trueOne of our core objectives is to bring people together through cricket and to involve youth in cricket. We seek to dispel negative thoughts and negative influences on youth and we have been quite successful in that so far. Cricketers have massive influence on society and they can play an instrumental role in the fight against illiteracy, crime and racism.

Q. The tremendous record against Associate teams and great performance in their first overseas tour to Zimbabwe, a Test-playing nation, has reinforced the belief that these boys could be world beaters. What are the immediate goals for this team and ACB?
A. 
We have to persuade more youngsters to play cricket and stitch together a big pool of talented young cricketers. That is one of our main goals. We also want to lobby for ICC full-member status, which is something the new management will be working hard on. We are pretty hopeful and optimistic to achieve this goal in next 3-4 years. In 10 years, we want to see Afghanistan among the top cricketing nations.

Beating Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe was a huge achievement for us. Beating Bangladesh in Asia Cup was also a big achievement. We lost to Pakistan in Sharjah quite narrowly and defeated them convincingly in Islamabad. We played against Australia and gave them a good fight. We lost to India by a small margin. So, we have got the self-belief and confidence to perform at the highest level against the formidable Test-playing sides.

Q. There is a palpable buzz about 2015 World Cup right now. Everyone is looking forward to the biggest cricketing spectacle on earth, including people in this country. For the first time Afghanistan has qualified for the ICC World Cup, which will be played in Australia and New Zealand in February-March this year. How are the preparations going for that?
A. 
We are trying to make full use of the little time left for the World Cup. To be honest, as the former Manager of Afghan cricket team and the current CEO of ACB, we did not implement the plans properly in the last one year since we have qualified for the World Cup. Let us hope we are ready for the mega tournament. Our team will play Scotland and Ireland in UAE ahead of World Cup, which will be a good preparation for them. Our boys are mentally in a good shape and the new management has promised to help them in all possible ways.

Q. The players from subcontinent often find the playing conditions in Australia-New Zealand difficult and challenging with great deal of pace and bounce. Are you confident these players will be able to cope with those conditions?
A. 
Recently, when the team toured Australia and New Zealand, their performance was good. The more they play in those conditions, the better they will get. I am pretty confident they will put up a good show and we should be able to achieve the targets we have set for the World Cup. And, to be honest, the conditions in Australia and New Zealand will suit our players. Our batsmen are natural stroke makers and they like to play on such surfaces. Our bowlers can be lethal as they generate lot of pace and bounce on fast tracks. So, we have a team that can perform and hopefully deliver.

Q. Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. Sri Lanka went into 1996 World Cup as under dogs and emerged as unlikely champions under the captaincy of Arjuna Ranatunga. Can we expect Afghan team under Mohammad Nabi to cause few upsets at the World Cup? Like Ireland defeated England in 2011, Zimbabwe thrashed India in 1999, Kenya beat West Indies in 1996? Can we expect something similar from this team?
A. 
I would like to believe so. Our team is fully prepared for the challenge; the morale is quite high, and we have set some realistic goals for the team. This team cannot be taken for granted. We are not just going to participate in the tournament, we are going to perform and win.

Q. In the 15-member squad for World Cup, there are experienced players like Mohammad Nabi, Nawroz Mangal, Samiullah Shenwari and there are also young guns like Afsar Zazai and Usman Ghani. How important is this blend of youth and experience?
A. 
We have a brilliant team composition for the World Cup, a perfect blend of youth and experience. The young players have shown their potential, and that is why they have cemented their place in the team. Players like Nabi, Nawroz and Samiullah have wealth of experience and it will be a great learning experience for youngsters to play around them. Playing against top quality sides and top quality players in World Cup will help them grow as cricketers. So, we are immensely glad that we have a team of youth and experience going to such a mega event.

Q. You recently announced the 15-member squad for World Cup. Do you believe you have got the right team to create an impact on the biggest stage of world cricket?
A. 
Selectors did a fine job by selecting this 15-member squad for World Cup from a talented pool of cricketers after discussing and deliberating for more than two weeks. Selection committee met many times and we (Chairman and CEO) also shared our ideas and inputs with them to make sure we have a strong squad for the mega event. We hope this team brings some good news from the World Cup and brings cheer to people in Afghanistan.

Q. The recent tour of Zimbabwe reinforced the belief that these young Afghan players can play against Test-playing sides under unfamiliar conditions. Do you think this team is ready for test-playing status as ICC full-member nation?
A. 
We have been performing well consistently and we have shown drastic improvement in our play over the years. In almost a dozen first-class matches, we have been beaten just once. We lifted Inter Continental Cup in our very first appearance and finished as runners-up second time. We defeated Bangladesh in Bangladesh, we thrashed Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe. The more we play, the better we get. That is the positive thing about this team. They learn from their mistakes and they easily adapt to different conditions.

Q. To build a strong national side, it is important to focus at grassroots level. What is ACB doing in that regard? Do you have cricket academies training junior cricketers?
A. 
In terms of infrastructure development, our goal is to have at least five international cricket stadiums in five regions of the country. We can use them as center of cricket in each region, where players from the particular region will come and avail the facilities. The stadiums have to be of international standard with state-of-the-art facilities.

We have built academies in each province. Right now we have at least 15 to 20 cricket academies in various provinces. Our focus is on building infrastructure, providing facilities to young players and training coaches in provinces. We are also focusing our attention on domestic cricket so that we can nurture a good pool of cricketers.

Q. Is ICC providing all the help you need to build cricket infrastructure in Afghanistan?
A. 
Almost 60 percent income of ACB comes from sources other than ICC. But they do support us through direct funding and regional direct funding. Government has supported us hugely over the years. We are trying to find a team sponsor and unfortunately we don’t have a sponsor since last one year. But, we are pretty hopeful to attract a sponsor before the World Cup.

Q. India is a powerhouse in world cricket.  Have they offered any help to ACB to build infrastructure or train Afghan cricketers?
A. 
India has been quite supportive and we fully appreciate their help. They are building a world-class cricket ground in Kandahar and we expect lot more help from them. We are planning to have a meeting with officials of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Kabul in near future. We want to build a strong relationship with BCCI.

Q. There was a controversy recently over the women’s cricket team. They accused ACB of not paying enough attention to women’s cricket in Afghanistan. How would you react to that?
A. 
We are committed to the development of women’s cricket in Afghanistan. We have a department that looks after women’s cricket. Recently they traveled to Herat, Kunduz and Nangarhar to hold trials for talented women cricketers for the national team. ACB will be working on developing women’s cricket as well.

Q. As the new CEO, what are the things you would like to change in the way cricket is run in this country? Any new initiatives you are planning?
A. 
We need to strengthen our domestic cricket, which is one of my top priorities right now. Building infrastructure and providing facilities to domestic cricketers is critical to the future of cricket in this country. I also want to make ACB a financially self-sufficient organization.

Q. How would you rate the performance of the previous ACB administration?
A
. I was part of that administration as well but due to some controversies I had to leave my job to join a private mobile company in a senior position. Now, I have come back as the new CEO of ACB. That is a difficult question to answer.

Q. The sponsorship deals are really important for a game like cricket. How can you attract local sponsors to support cricket in Afghanistan?
A. 
We have to approach them properly. Local sponsors can play a major role in the development of cricket in Afghanistan and it all boils down to attracting them with proper proposals and convincing them that cricket has a large audience in Afghanistan. This is a huge marketing opportunity for private sector companies and I am pretty confident the new ACB administration will be able to do that.

Q. Speaking of the young breed of cricketers in Afghanistan, we saw the performance of Afghan U-19 team in recent Asian Cricket Council Under-19 Premier League. They were just fantastic. Do you think the future of Afghan cricket is in safe hands?
A. 
The talent we are seeing at the grassroots level is tremendous. I definitely believe the future of Afghan cricket is in safe hands. As you mentioned Sri Lanka in 1996, they had some fantastic young players led by Arjuna Ranatunga. They experimented with Kaluwitharna at the top order who was almost losing his spot in the team and it worked for them. We also have such players at the junior level and they will announce their arrival with a proverbial bang.

Q. Speaking of the 1996 World Cup, Jayasurya-Kaluwitharna combination at the top almost changed the way cricket was being played. You also have such kind of stroke players in the team. Do you think they will do what Sri Lanka did in 1996?
A. 
We have the talent and they will surprise many cricket pundits at the World Cup. But we need to give them time. It is too early to expect too much from them.

Q. You have a foreign coach now who has replaced Kabir Khan. The problem in this part of the world is the communication barrier between the players and English-speaking foreign coaches. Do you see that as a problem?
A. 
To be honest we have struggled with that. The biggest mistake the previous administration did was putting wrong people in the management body, who could not take right decisions in the interests of team. Our main focus will be on team management and support staff at both the senior and junior level. The communication barriers are not that much now. Most of the players can speak English and cricketing language is generally common around the world.

Q. Where do you see Afghan cricket 10 years from now?
A. 
In top five cricketing nations of the world.

(First published in Afghan Zariza)