T20 WC: Domestic, franchise cricket helped, admits Rashid

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 14, 2024 IST

Rashid Khan

Tarouba (Trinidad), June 14: Afghanistan are no more the minnows in world cricket. After consistent and splendid fights in last year's ODI World Cup in India, they have edged out formidable New Zealand to enter the Super Eight stage of the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

But what propelled the Asian country's consistent rise in international cricket? 

Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan credited the domestic and franchise cricket experience of his players for the impressive performances that led his team to the Super Eight stage in the ongoing T20 World Cup.

Afghanistan registered three consecutive wins in the group stage to become the second team from Group C to advance to the next round of the tournament after co-hosts West Indies.

Rashid also lauded his troops after sealing a seven-wicket win against Papua New Guinea, saying they have the skill set to adapt to different conditions.

Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bowl first and bundled out PNG for 95 in 19.5 overs. Pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi grabbed three wickets while Naveen-ul-Haq clinched two scalps.

In the chase, Gulbadin Naib smashed an unbeaten 49 to take his side over the line with 29 balls to spare.

"They (the openers) have given us good starts in the last two games and today was a good opportunity for the others to spend some time in the middle. We had a domestic competition before coming here and everyone are in form," Rashid said in the post-match presentation.

"That is the beauty of playing of franchise cricket as you know the conditions, some of them have played at St Lucia and know how the pitch will play which will help others. Everyone has the skill to adjust to any condition and hopefully, we will win that game (against WI) as well," he added.

After progressing to the Super Eight stage, the star spinner said the outcome reflects the combined efforts of the players on the field.

"Feeling great to qualifying for the next round. Great effort from the boys since game one. They know what they to do and have executed beautifully, making things easy for me.

"It is important to have someone like Gurbaz who goes out and takes on the bowling or Farooqi who picks up wickets in the powerplay. If the batter is attacking then as a bowler you have to attack too especially with pitches helping you," he said.

Afghanistan will take on West Indies in their final group stage encounter in Tarouba on June 17.

Can Afghanistan go beyond the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup 2024? Seems bit difficult, but not totally unlikely. The reason being in T20 cricket, on a given day, any team can surprise another. Besides, Afghanistan are no more the underdogs anymore. (With IANS support) 

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