Two decades have passed and things are back to normal Afghanistan. Torn by political strife and a devastating earthquake, the country is on its knees. At such a time, their win against ODI world champions England at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Sunday may not change the lives of all those who don’t know what’s out there. tomorrow at the store, but it will certainly leave them with a sense of hope.
“It’s not just like that.” cricket which guys are playing for. They are familiar with the things and hardships that some people go through…if it can put a smile on people’s faces and encourage boys and girls to pick up a cricket bat or a cricket ball and start playing cricket wherever they are in Afghanistan, then that’s kind of the goal , which was achieved,” coach Jonathan Trott explained in coach Jonathan Trott’s words what this win really meant for the country.
While the Afghans took a moment to relish and pamper themselves, the win was a boost for a World Cup that had been trapped by monotonous one-sided games. As the world took note of the story of the flair, courage and determination of the Afghan boys, five-time champions Australia had to be one of the teams that
he really encouraged them.
Looking down the barrel after two back-to-back losses, they had to be lifted by this win that opened the first four races.
It’s not like this Afghanistan side never threatened to cause an upset in the ODI World Cup. In the 2019 edition, they narrowly beat mighty India and needed a hat-trick from Mohammed Shami to win by 11 runs.
In the last four years, they have regularly led teams like Pakistan in various tournaments, but this is really something else. And it was all the more special because in the first two games, Afghanistan didn’t give much indication that something like this could be in the works.
A defeat to Bangladesh and a tussle against India didn’t give them much hope until Sunday. If we dig deeper, we realize that Afghanistan was slowly preparing for this.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who smoked a ball 80 before being run out, is not a completely unknown quantity to Indian cricket fans. A 21-year-old player who plays for
Kolkata Knight Riders have threatened at times in the IPL and you could see the talent is there. And that brings us to the most important factor that has made this Afghan team a competitive unit.
Afghan players led by such Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi — have been regulars in franchise leagues around the world. They know the ins and outs of most of the players they are up against, while Rashid is a master of Indian conditions.
Every franchise captain wants him in their team because of his ability to use India’s slow spinners fantastically and he did it again on Sunday with 3-37. And under his mentorship, Mujeeb walked away with the ‘Man of the Match’ award and came up with his bag of tricks against an England batting line-up that felt stifled by runs on the board.
Now that Afghanistan have pulled it off, they will be looking to him especially in Wednesday’s game against New Zealand at the spin-friendly Chepauku ground. It’s up to Rashid & Co. to keep it going and make it more than a flash for the ‘Kite Runners’ who choose to chase the wind.
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