Chattogram, Sep 10: Senior Afghanistan cricketer, Mohammad Nabi - who made his final appearance in Test cricket on Monday (September 9) - lauded his team's fine win over Bangladesh in the one-off Test in Chattogram. Nabi - who is the torchbearers of cricket in war-torn Afghanistan - said he was immensely proud of his team's progress in the longest format over the last few years.
Nabi featured in Afghanistan's first-ever international appearance in each of the three formats, and after his final Test - a thrilling 224-run victory over Bangladesh in the dying stages of the fifth day in Chattogram - reflected on what went behind the team's meteoric rise over the decade.
The all-rounder told ICC, "I had the dream to play Test cricket for Afghanistan. We have worked really hard for that in a short time. Not last 13 to 14 years, we have achieved that target seven to eight years. We struggled a lot, we had to prepare mentally, combine a team combination. We have played the ICC Intercontinental Cup three times and we won twice and were the runners-up once.
"It's a very good result and because of that, the ICC gave us Test status. And I am very happy to be part of that generation of Afghanistan."
A Captain’s performance from @rashidkhan_19 , who lead from the front taking 11 wickets in the match , seals a historic Test victory for Afghanistan beating @BCBtigers by 224 runs in the One-off Test at Chattogram.#AFGvBAN @Farhan_YusEfzai pic.twitter.com/vHIbiTZthe— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) September 9, 2019
Last week, the 34-year-old announced his retirement from Test cricket, citing the need to open up opportunities for youngsters. He said the future was bright. "It's a historic win because in this format, we are new," Nabi said "We have played only three games against India, Ireland and Bangladesh and we won two games. It means we are good in this format, and it means that our domestic structure is strong.
"The youngsters, the way they are playing, the way they are adjusting to the conditions, it's really a brilliant team. Maybe it's a bright future as well, for the youngsters to play in this format.
"My plan is that the youngsters should be prepared for the next Tests as they are the future for us. That's why I have decided to leave Test matches, and focus on one-day internationals and T20Is."
Afghanistan's second Test win was propelled by a collective performance from the team, led by captain Rashid Khan, who picked up 11 wickets and scored a half-century in the first innings. Nabi was all praise for the side, but particularly stressed the contribution of the 17-year-old debutant Ibrahim Zadran, who scored a patient 87 in the second innings to extend Afghanistan's lead.
"The preparation for the Test match was really good," said Nabi. "That's why the boys have performed both in batting and bowling departments.
"We put up good totals in both the innings. I will talk especially about the young guy Ibrahim. Recently he played here with the A team against Bangladesh A, and he performed really well. It proved that he has the ability, he has the talent to play in Test cricket."