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Afghanistan's cricket team headed to South Africa Thursday confident that morale and hardwork would win them a place in the World Cup 2011 in a stellar rise for sport in the war-torn nation.

The team were due to arrive in South Africa on Friday ahead of their April 1 opening 1 match against Denmark, cricket board director Shazada Massoud said.

Afghanistan's team, most of whom learned the game in Pakistan as refugees and once used downed helicopters as changing rooms, lacked the facilities of wealthier nations vying for a World Cup place, Massoud told AFP.

"But the advantage our team has over others is that they are hard-working, talented and have high morale," he said. "Their morale is very strong."

The top four teams in the competition will book a place in the 2011 World Cup, to be held in Asia.

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