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Ganguly praises MCC's Afghan work Published: 05 April 2011

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has declared his support for MCCs work developing cricket in Afghanistan.

Ganguly captained MCC for the four team Emirates Airline Twenty20 Trophy in Dubai.

The competition unfortunately ended early for MCC when they were beaten by three wickets by Nottinghamshire in the semi-final.

The highlight of the match for MCC was the performance of Afghan fast-bowler Hamid Hassan, who took a hat-trick in a wonderful spell of 5-17 in four overs.

Hassan’s compatriot Mohammad Nabi made 26 from just 15 balls, including two sixes and bowled four wicketless overs for 30 runs in the defeat.

Afghan improvement

Ganguly captained both players at Lord’s last year against Pakistanis in 2010 and was impressed with their improvement.

"I played alongside Hassan and Nabi at Lord’s last year and they looked very good then - eight months later and they have both improved." he said

"Hamid has improved in particular. He really looks an improved bowler and bowled very well today."

MCC are heavily involved in promoting cricket in Afghanistan. Both Nabi and Hassan have been involved with the Club since 2006 when they were part of the MCC Young Cricketers scheme.

In addition, led by MCC Committee Member Matthew Fleming, the Club has hosted a number of Spirit of Cricket camps for school aged boys and girls across the country.

"The relationship that MCC has with cricket in Afghanistan is very positive." added Ganguly, who played 113 Tests and 311 One Day Internationals for India.

"Hassan and Nabi are examples of the talent which is out there - who, given the right opportunities, can help to develop the world game - it is not always about a Tendulkar, Lara or a Ganguly."

County opportunities?

Hassan’s five-wickets rounded off a great tour for the fast bowler, who also took seven wickets as MCC beat Nottinghamshire in the County Champions match in Abu Dhabi.

The 23-year-old impressed onlookers, teammates and opponents with his pace and aggression.

Speaking after the T20 defeat, Hassan thanked MCC and spoke of the possibility of moving into the English county game.

"It is such an honour to play for MCC." he said.

"I am very thankful for the opportunities that I have been given by the Club so far.
"The experience that I have gained playing alongside the likes of Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly over the past week has been fantastic and I really hope that I can continue to play for MCC in the future, and make the step into English county cricket.

"I haven’t had a chance to test my skills consistently at this level yet, but I think I would have a lot to offer to a county side."


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