Calcutta: Australia captain Michael Clarke and his New Zealand counterpart Brendon McCullum lauded Afghanistan for booking a 2015 World Cup berth and hoped that the gritty side’s maiden experience at the mega event turns out to be a memorable one.
Clarke, whose side beat Afghanistan by 66 runs in the only ODI between the two sides to date in August 2012, was delighted for the Associate side.
“It was only last year that we played Afghanistan in the United Arab Emirates. They put up a good fight and showed strong potential.
“To obtain a qualification spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is something the squad deserves and we’re all really happy for them,” Clarke said in an ICC release.
Clarke said Afghanistan has not only been a success, but an inspiring story as well. “Their growth over the past decade as a nation and a cricketing side has been an inspiring story to say the least.
“We expect they’ll be a challenge for any side in Pool A and we’re looking forward to playing them on home soil in Perth,” he added.
McCullum said: “On behalf of the New Zealand cricket team, we would like to offer the Afghanistan team our warmest congratulations on their efforts of qualifying for the World Cup 2015.
“We look forward to playing against them in the World Cup match in the beautiful city of Napier, and we are certain they will enjoy our country and the tournament,” said McCullum.