Dhoni's attitude is remarkable: Zazai

Zazai admitted that he hadn’t imagined Afghanistan would have an international team, let alone one for Test cricket when he fell in love with the game as a five-year-old.

Zazai believes that the APL will be a great boon for the sport in Afghanistan.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

When you talk of Afghanistan and wicketkeeping, the first name that will crop up is that of Mohammad Shahzad. Yet, the honour of donning the big gloves for Afghanistan in its inaugural Test went to Afsar Zazai.

“It is every cricketer’s dream to play a Test, and I was delighted when mine came true at Bengaluru in June,” Zazai, who is here for the first Afghanistan Premier League (APL), told Sportstar.

“We couldn’t do well as a team in that Test against India, but we got to learn a lot of new things which would help us in the future.”

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He admitted that he hadn’t imagined Afghanistan would have an international team, let alone one for Test cricket when he fell in love with the game as a five-year-old.

“I had initially played tennis ball cricket and then from the age of 10, with the hard ball, in Paktia, back home,” he recalled.

“Now, we have a league of our own. It is a great achievement for the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), which has been able to create it in such a short span of time.”

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The 25-year-old believes that the APL will be a great boon for the sport in Afghanistan. “Our young players could get noticed by international teams. And, all of us could benefit from working with quality coaches, like Heath Streak and Venkatesh Prasad,” he said.

Zazai, who is keeping wicket for Kabul Zwanan, here, hoped that the APL would attract good crowds. “Lots of Afghan people, who live in the UAE, had come to support at the recent Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I hope those fans come for the APL matches too,” said the man who has played 17 ODIs, though he is regarded as the man for the red-ball format.

M.S. Dhoni is the ’keeper he admires most. “He has been my idol since childhood. I like his coolness. His attitude on and off the field is remarkable,” he said.

(The writer is in Sharjah at the invitation of DSPORT)