TO GO WITH Cricket-AFG-PAK-WC2015,FOCUS by Shahid HASHMI This photograph taken on April 26, 2014 shows Afghan cricketer Hashmatullah Shaidi playing a shot during the team's training camp in the Pakistani port city of Karachi. The story of Afghanistan's rise in cricket has been nothing short of a fairytale, but the real work will begin only after their debut in next year's World Cup, according to Rashid Latif, the ex-Pakistan skipper who is a coach with the Afghan team. AFP PHOTO / Asif HASAN (Photo credit should read ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Asif Hassan – AFP/Getty Images
By TIME Video
May 10, 2014

Afghanistan’s fairytale-like rise from the fifth division of world cricket in 2008 to qualifying for next year’s World Cup has been hailed as one of the sport’s biggest-ever success stories.

“I hope the World Cup is not a make-or-break for Afghanistan,” Rashid Latif, a coach with the Afghan team who was formerly a skipper on Pakistan’s team, said. “Their real cricket will start after the World Cup.”

Latif told AFP that the challenges the Afghan players had to face in their own lives meant they had shown admirable stamina when facing the pressure of the game.

“They are mentally tough and well built, too. As a coach I came to teach, but I have learned from them,” he said.

Watch the video above for more.

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