Cricket playing countries are now reluctant to tour Pakistan following the recent terror attack on Sri Lankan cricketers and ICC match officials in Lahore. However, Afghanistan cricket team is still in Pakistan as they are preparing for the ICC world cup qualifying tournament starting from next month in South Africa. After winning three qualifying divisions including division 3,4 and 5, Afghanistan is now confident to make it to the final of ICC World Cup 2011 which will be held in sub-continent.
Afghanistan was originally supposed to warm up in Lahore, but the terror attack in Lahore make them move to Peshawar where they are now training at the Arbab Niaz Stadium under a tight security as dozens of policemen guard the Afghan cricketers. However, Afghan cricketers are not allowed to face media in order to keep the security in tact.
Kabir Khan, coach of Afghanistan cricket team, is hopeful about the progress of the team and he thinks that his team can qualify for the next world cup tournament. However, Mr. Khan, who represented Pakistan in 4 test and 10 ODI matches, also admitted that he had not expected his team to come this far in their world cup qualifying mission. However, he sounds adamant while stating that the concern over batting has gone away in the presence of batsmen like Riffatullah Momand and Mohammad Shehzad. He also said that bowling and fielding were never a problem for his team. Now that, batting is no more a concern for Afghanistan, it seems that Afghanistan can take a stern test of the favorites like Bermuda, Kenya, the Netherlands and United Arab Emirates who all are drawn in Group B alongside Afghanistan in the upcoming ICC qualifying tournament.