Afghan bowler compares his team's meteoric rise to boxing underdog Rocky Balboa

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Melbourne, May 1 (ANI): Afghanistan fast bowler Hamid Hassan has compared his team's rise to play the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in the Caribbean to the deeds of Hollywood's boxing underdog Rocky Balboa.

Afghanistan debuts against India at St Lucia tonight, and it would be worth staying up late to watch the match.

"In every division, we just win by one run or one wicket. Every game for us is a thriller, like a horror movie, suspense and everything. Trying and trying, and then winning," said Hassan.

"It's like a dream for us. We are still not believing we are in the Twenty20 World Cup and we have ODI status, so this is a big achievement in my life," The Age quoted him, as saying.

Hassan defied his father; an educated man from Jalalabad, to practise in secret after the family escaped the conflict in its troubled homeland to live in Peshawar, Pakistan, when he was a boy.

"My dad didn't want to allow me to play cricket, he was very angry, because he wants me to become a doctor or lawyer. I play for one year in secret, nobody knows," Hassan said.

Hassan hopes his history of defiance will continue in the Caribbean, where the cricket world will be introduced to a team that over the past two years has enjoyed a heart-warming rise from division five of the ICC-funded associate nations to a place among the top sides. (ANI)

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