Afghanistan target third world T20 place
Dubai: Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi believes his team can comfortably reach a third successive World Twenty20 and complete a memorable year which also saw the war-hit nation break through to a maiden World Cup.
Nabi, 28, has already led the Asian minnows to the 2015 World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand, and later this month will hope to see Afghanistan make it out of qualifying to reach the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
Having twice qualified for the 2010 and 2012 World Twenty20 events, Nabi feels that qualification for next year`s finals is a given "purely because of the quality of my team".
"Qualification this time around is very important for us as a team, for our cricket and for our nation. We will try very hard to make it to the Bangladesh event like we did to the 2010 and 2012 events. It will be a big moment for me as a captain," said Nabi.
Six teams will qualify from the 14-nation, November 15-30 qualifying tournament being staged throughout the United Arab Emirates with Afghanistan drawn in Group B alongside The Netherlands, Scotland, Kenya, Bermuda, Denmark, Nepal and Papua New Guinea.
"The ICC has done a great thing by letting six teams qualify for the World Twenty20," added Nabi.
"It will help a lot of the sides to look ahead positively. For us also it gives a better chance of not just qualifying but also provides us with an opportunity to dream about making it to the second stage."
Nabi said that the aim of his side is not just to qualify for the World Twenty20, but to win the tournament.
"The pressure will always be there. Just because six teams will qualify does not mean that our job becomes easier. I therefore believe that we need to look to win the tournament rather than just look to qualify," said Nabi.