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Andrew Flintoff's heroic Ashes performance inspired me: Afghanistan's Hamid Hassan

Hamid Hassan talks about how Andrew Flintoff's performance in the 2005 Ashes inspired him and also talks about his cartwheeling celebrations.

Afghanistan’s Hamid Hassan celebrates taking the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara

Afghanistan fast bowler Hamid Hasan has revealed that he was inspired by the performance of England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff during the 2005 Ashes series. The 27-year-old has already gained a cult following in this World Cup because of his Rambo-style hand band, war paint below the eyes and cartwheel celebrations. Rambo is not Hassan’s only inspiration however.

"There are a lot of fast bowlers I love to watch, but the one guy I was very inspired by was in the Ashes series in 2005, when I saw Andrew Flintoff,” Hassan told in an interview to cricket.com.au.

The 37-year-old English all-rounder had played an instrumental role with both bat and ball in his side’s first Ashes win in close to two decades, scoring 402 runs in 5 Tests at an average of 40.20 and picking up 24 scalps with the ball in hand at an average of 27.29.

The Afghan pacer said, “He inspired me a lot with the way he played, the way he bowled, the way he batted, his celebrations and everything. He was amazing.

"He played like a hero in that Ashes series. He bowled really well, bowled fast and quick, got 24 wickets and got some runs in batting. I wish I could bat like him but I'm not a good batsman.”

Didn't know how to react after dismissing Sangakkara: Hassan

Talking about his celebrations after dismissing Sri Lankan mainstay Kumar Sangakkara during his side’s 6-wicket loss in Dunedin on February 22nd, the 27-year-old said that he didn't know how to react after claiming the wicket and  thereby ended up cartwheeling on the field.

“I didn't know what I should do so I just went for it. I was just enjoying that wicket because everyone knows that Sangakkara is the number one batsman in the world,” the fast bowler said.

"I feel very proud that I got him and also then (Mahela) Jayawardene later on. I was very excited, I didn't know what to do and it just happened. It was amazing,” he added.

Afghanistan’s next fixture in the ongoing 2015 World Cup is against Australia at the WACA in Perth on Wednesday, bowling on which pitch is one of Hassan’s biggest dreams.

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