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Afghan’s Hassan in Wall Street Journal for somersault antics

Hamid Hassan

Dunedin: Afghanistan’s latest cricket sensation Hamid Hassan found his way into the pages of the popular US daily the ‘Wall Street Journal’ after his somersaulting antics post Kumar Sangakkara’s wicket in their match against Sri Lanka caught the attention of one and all.

With a bandana and a war paint on both cheeks, Hassan, in his Rambo-like appearance, is not only a hit with fans and the photographers but also with his World Cup opponents, who are wary of his wicket-taking abilities.

With a little over 6 feet in height, his fast-arm suprises batsmen as his 3-45 gave the Angelo Mathews-led team a scare in the pool game after Lanka managed to scrape to their 233-run target in 48.2 overs with only four wickets in hand on Sunday.

The pacer continued his somersaulting celebration in the next game after pulling off an athletic diving catch to send Scotland’s Josh Davey on his way.

Hassan also stood tall with an unbeaten 15 to see Afghanistan register their first World Cup win against Scotland today.

After Samiuallah Shenwari departed post a fighting 96 that set up the game for the Afghans, Hassan, who had earlier bagged a wicket, stitched an unbeaten 19-run last-wicket stand with Shapoor Zadran (12 not out) to give the fans a lot to cheer about.

With two losses and a win from three games, the Mohammad Nabi-led side has certainly managed to impress one and all in their maiden 50-over World Cup appearance.

Hassan, 27, in particular has managed to carve his own niche after picking up five wickets from three games so far.

It has been a long road to Australia and New Zealand for Afghanistan. The national cricket team was only formed in 2001, and secured qualification for the 50-over showpiece

event after beating Kenya into second spot in the World Cricket League championship.

And after years of following heroes from their neighbouring cricket giant Pakistan, with the likes of Imran Khan and Wasim Akram adorning the walls of many a hair salon in the war-ravaged nation, Afghanistan finally have some of their ‘own’ stars in Zadran and Hassan.

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