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Afghan coach proud of his teams achievements

Afghanistan coach Kabir Khan has praised his team for the winning the Twenty20 World Cup qualifier final branding it his teams greatest achievement in cricket.

The Afghans beat Ireland by 8 wickets to win the final capping a fairy tale day which saw them clinch a lace in Mays Twenty20 World Cup after beating the United Arab Emirates.

"Itís a big thing for Afghanistan, for the cricketers and the nation" he said.

"Itís quite incredible that 18 months ago the side were winning ICC World Cricket League Division 5 and then they managed ODI status, they just missed out on the ICC Cricket World Cup and now they have just qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies" he added.

"It speaks for itself about how great an achievement it is for the side. For me personally itís my greatest achievement as a coach so far and I am extremely proud for the team and for all of Afghanistan."

Middle-order batsman Raees Ahmadzai added: "This really is a great achievement for Afghanistan cricket and something I am extremely proud and thankful for all the help the ICC along with the Asian Cricket Council have given to Afghanistan cricket in providing us with facilities to play cricket."

"We will give the Full Member countries a real test out in the West Indies Ė we wonít be going out there just for fun. In Twenty20 cricket anything can happen. It is a form of cricket we know very well and we will not be easy to beat" said Raees.

Despite losing the final Ireland skipper William Porterfield could not hide his delight seeing his side qualify for another Twenty20 World Cup.

"Itís great for us and the lads are on a bit of a high" he said.

"I think we showed some great character to fight back after losing the first game of the tournament (against Afghanistan). Itís been pretty good and itís what we set out to do from the start." he added.

"We obviously talked about who we thought would qualify at the beginning of the tournament and who the main competitors were and Afghanistan have played great cricket throughout the tournament and fair play to them, I am happy for Afghanistan."

"Itís obviously great to be getting back out to the West Indies, the people are great out there, they love their cricket and itís a great atmosphere when youíre out there playing cricket."

"We had great support out there the last time which helped as it was our first major global event and we now looking forward to getting back out there and getting the same kind of support."

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