RAEES AHMADZAI: LEADING AFGHAN CRICKET

What did the team learn from your recent matches played in England?

The tour in England, most importantly, provided us with exposure to the game played there. The style and mentality of the clubs whom we played is very different from our style of play. When we play, we go all out trying to get the runs as quickly as we can but the English clubs have a slower, more patient approach to the game.

Who have been your toughest opponents and why?

There wasn’t really one tough opponent. All the teams we played posed stiff competition and we played the best we could in every single game. We’re happy we won 6 off our 7 matches and we are still aware that there’s room for improvement.

Coming out of the tour with such a big win obviously has boosted your confidence – how will the team aim to carry this into the ACC Trophy?

It has definitely boosted our confidence but we know we must work equally hard in the upcoming tournaments. We cannot be relying on our previous performances to win games and so we’re going to play like we always do, by putting in one hundred percent in every single game, irrespective of who our opponents are going to be.

Afghanistan is seen as “a force to be reckoned with” in cricket – how do you feel about this statement?

Yes, we have improved drastically from what we were but its all come through with extreme amounts of hard work and nothing else. Like I said earlier, we put in one hundred percent in every game and this is getting us results as well as the recognition we deserve. So if people see us as a force soon to be reckoned with in cricket, then so be it, but on the field we keep our heads down and think about only one thing – winning.