'Worked really hard for this' – Mohammad Nabi revels in historic Afghanistan win
Nabi featured in Afghanistan's first ever international appearance in each of the three formats, and after his final Test – a thrilling 224-run victory over Bangladesh in the dying stages of the fifth day in Chattogram – reflected on what went behind the team's meteoric rise over the decade.
"I had the dream to play Test cricket for Afghanistan," Nabi said. "We have worked really hard for that in a short time. Not last 13 to 14 years, we have achieved that target seven to eight years. We struggled a lot, we had to prepare mentally, combine a team combination. We have played the ICC Intercontinental Cup three times and we won twice and were the runners-up once.
"It's a very good result and because of that, the ICC gave us Test status. And I am very happy to be part of that generation of Afghanistan."
Afghanistan have registered their second Test win in just their third Test match.— ICC (@ICC) September 9, 2019
They are the joint quickest team to the landmark, equalling Australia who picked up their second Test victory all the way back in 1879.#BANvAFG pic.twitter.com/ko3BoULhbj
Last week, the 34-year-old announced his retirement from Test cricket, citing the need to open up opportunities for youngsters. He said the future was bright. "It's a historic win because in this format, we are new," Nabi said "We have played only three games against India, Ireland and Bangladesh and we won two games. It means we are good in this format, and it means that our domestic structure is strong.
"The youngsters, the way they are playing, the way they are adjusting to the conditions, it's really a brilliant team. Maybe it's a bright future as well, for the youngsters to play in this format.
"My plan is that the youngsters should be prepared for the next Tests as they are the future for us. That's why I have decided to leave Test matches, and focus on one-day internationals and T20Is."
"The legend Nabi, who has played his last Test, has helped me and other young spinners a lot."— ICC (@ICC) September 9, 2019
Rashid Khan dedicated his Player of the Match award to Mohammad Nabi, who was playing in his last Test match after Afghanistan's win over Bangladesh.https://t.co/Ei1HNETXEe
Afghanistan's second Test win was propelled by a collective performance from the team, led by captain Rashid Khan, who picked up 11 wickets and scored a half-century in the first innings. Nabi was all praise for the side, but particularly stressed the contribution of the 17-year-old debutant Ibrahim Zadran, who scored a patient 87 in the second innings to extend Afghanistan's lead.
"The preparation for the Test match was really good," said Nabi. "That's why the boys have performed both in batting and bowling departments.
"We put up good totals in both the innings. I will talk especially about the young guy Ibrahim. Recently he played here with the A team against Bangladesh A, and he performed really well. It proved that he has the ability, he has talent to play in Test cricket."