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Afghanistan

India National Cricket Team.
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: BCCI
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Team India To Play 3 ODIs Against Afghanistan In March 2022

Indian cricket team will be playing three ODIs against Afghanistan in March 2022, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced on Monday.

According to the Future Tour Program (FTP) for 2022-23, a total number of 37 ODIs, 12 T20Is, and 3 Tests have been included in the Afghanistan schedule for the upcoming two years. Apart from the series against India, Afghanistan will be squaring off against Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Australia, Ireland in 2022.

India vs Afghanistan
India vs Afghanistan (Credits: Twitter)

Indian Cricket Team To Play 3 ODIs Against Afghanistan In March 2022

These series are scheduled on a home and away basis, among which Afghanistan will play 18 home and 34 away matches, apart from participating in the Asia Cup 2022, ICC T20 World Cup 2022, the Asia Cup 2023, and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

“Out of the 52 matches included in Afghanistan’s schedule from 2022 to 2023, there will be 37 ODIs, 12 T20Is and 3 tests. Considering the fact that Afghanistan will be playing 7 ODI series in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, as well as will participate in four major limited-overs events such as Asia Cup 2022 (T20 format), ICC T20 World Cup 2022, the Asia Cup 2023 (ODI format) & the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023,” the ACB said in an official release.
Afghanistan Cricket Board- Facebook/AfghanistanCricketBoardOfficial
Afghanistan Cricket Board- Facebook/AfghanistanCricketBoardOfficial

It’s worth mentioning that the ACB top management alongside the cricket operations team of the Afghanistan Cricket Board is in regular negotiations with the Pakistan Cricket Board to reschedule the postponed three-match ODI series for the Feb-Mar 2023 (Still to be confirmed), which was scheduled to be conducted in Sep-2021 and was postponed indefinitely due to logistical challenges.

Afghanistan will host a three-match ODI series against the Netherlands in Doha, Qatar in January next year, the country’s cricket board (ACB) said on Wednesday. Afghanistan grabbed 30 points after clean sweeping Ireland 3-0 in the first series in January under the ODI Super League, which counts towards qualification for the 2023 World Cup.

Mirwais Ashraf Announced Afghanistan Women Will Play-Cricket

Furthermore, the ACB is in talks with other cricket nations to arrange more bilateral matches for the national team, as part of the ICC Future Tours Program, which will be announced in due course. Afghanistan was supposed to play a single Test match at the Blundstone Arena in Hobart against Australia. However, Cricket Australia postpone the match after the Afghanistan women’s team was barred from playing cricket under the new rule of the Taliban.

Mirwais Ashraf with Afghanistan cricket team. Credits: Facebook
Mirwais Ashraf with Afghanistan cricket team. Credits: Facebook

On November 25, ACB chairman Mirwais Ashraf announced that the Afghanistan women team will continue to play cricket. The decision came after ICC had appointed a workgroup to monitor the situation of Afghanistan cricket. Mirwais Ashraf played 46 one-day internationals and 25 Twenty20 internationals, his last in 2016.

In the 2021 T20I World Cup, Afghanistan finished fourth on the points table of Group 2 in the T20 World Cup with wins against Scotland and Namibia. They lost their fixtures to India, Pakistan, and New Zealand that dented their hopes to qualify for the semi-final round. In 2018, Afghanistan made its Test debut against India in Bengaluru and the two teams haven’t played each other ever since – except for ICC and ACC tournaments.

Lance Klusener has been part of the Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians coaching staff in the IPL, and in September 2019, bagged the role of Afghanistan’s head coach. Photo: PIT File.
Lance Klusener has been part of the Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians coaching staff in the IPL, and in September 2019, bagged the role of Afghanistan’s head coach. Photo: PIT File.
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Lance Klusener Decides To Step Down As Afghanistan’s Head Coach After 2021

Lance Klusener has announced his decision to step down as the head coach of the Afghanistan men’s cricket team. The latest development comes weeks after the conclusion of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, where the Taliban ruled Afghanistan crashed out from the group stage Super 12s itself.

Soon after the conclusion of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, Afghanistan head coach South Africa’s Lance Klusener has decided to step down as the head coach of the Afghanistan men’s cricket team. One of the finest all-rounders to have played limited-overs cricket ever, the South African all-rounder was appointed as the head coach of Afghanistan for a two-year period.

Afghanistan
Afghanistan Courtesy of ICC

Lance Klusener Decided Not To Extend His Contract As Afghanistan’s Head Coach

Lance Klusener played 171 ODIs, 49 Test matches, 197 first-class, and 324 List A matches. He has scored 3576 in ODI, 9521 in first-class cricket, and 6648 in List A matches. After retiring from cricket, he decided to become a coach and got the training. At present, he is the level 4 certified coach. In a statement, he said he would not be extending his contract, which will come to an end on December 31, 2021.

“I, Lance Klusener, has decided not to extend my contract as the head coach of the Afghanistan men’s cricket team which finishes on 31st December 2021. Having spent two years with the team, I will take away some memorable moments with the team,” Klusener said in a statement.

Lance Klusener
Lance Klusener. (Photo by David Munden/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Widely considered one of the best all-rounders of his era, Lance Klusener played 49 Tests and 171 ODIs for South Africa over his international career. However, he is notoriously remembered for not being able to take South Africa over the line in the 1999 World Cup semi-final match against Australia, which ended in a tie.

Lance Klusener Replaced Phil Simmons As Afghanistan Coach On 2019

Lance Klusener added that he was looking forward to his coaching career.

“As I walk away from Afghanistan cricket team and its cricketing structure, I look forward to the next stage in my coaching career and the opportunities it bring,” the statement added.

Phil Simmons
Phil Simmons[Photo: Getty Images]
Lance Klusener took over as Afghanistan’s head coach on September 27, 2019, where he replaced Phil Simmons.

“I am extremely excited and honored to be given the opportunity to work with some of the best talents in world cricket,” Klusener had said after his appointment. “Everyone knows the fearless brand of cricket Afghanistan plays. I am very confident that with some hard work we can become one of the best sides in the world. “

Lance Klusener has previously worked as the batting coach of Zimbabwe and South Africa, and head coach of the South Africa domestic side Dolphins, as well as bowling coach of Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians. In T20 World Cup 2021, Afghanistan finished fourth with two wins from five matches.

Mirwais Ashraf with Afghanistan cricket team. Credits: Facebook
Mirwais Ashraf with Afghanistan cricket team. Credits: Facebook
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Former Afghanistan All-rounder Mirwais Ashraf, 33, Appointed As ACB’s Acting Chairman

The Taliban Wednesday appointed former all-rounder Mirwais Ashraf as acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board to replace Azizullah Fazli, who was in charge for just two months.

Afghanistan media reported the decision was taken after demands by national players while meeting the Taliban officials in Abu Dhabi during the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup.

Mirwais Ashraf (Credits Twitter)
Mirwais Ashraf (Credits Twitter)

Mirwais Ashraf Was Appointed Acting Chairman Of The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) By The Taliban

Mirwais Ashraf played 46 one-day internationals and 25 Twenty20 internationals, his last in 2016. Afghanistan bowed out of the Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 stage after winning only two of their five Group 2 matches, losing to heavyweights Pakistan, India, and New Zealand. In addition, the country has faced political and cricketing upheavals since the Taliban took over following the withdrawal of US and NATO troops in late August this year.
The decision to appoint a new acting chairman was taken by the Taliban after consultation with the Afghanistan players in Abu Dhabi during the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup.

“The prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has appointed Mirwais Ashraf as acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB),” said the Taliban statement.

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul (Image Credit: AP)
The Taliban fighters take control of the Afghan presidential palace after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)

The Taliban’s hardline stance on not allowing women to play cricket prompted calls for the Afghan team to be banned, with Australian Test skipper Tim Paine believing teams will refuse to play them.

Afghanistan Will Tour Zimbabwe For 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is After One-Off Test Against Australia Postponed

Cricket Australia on Friday postponed a Test match against Afghanistan — the first scheduled between the two nations — in Brisbane later this month, saying they will host the match only once the situation is clearer. The International Cricket Council — which has rules stating all member countries should have both men’s and women’s teams — has been cautious, saying it will discuss the matter in a board meeting later this month.

Australia has so far played three international matches against Afghanistan. All three were ODIs, the latest being a World Cup 2019 contest. - REUTERS
Australia has so far played three international matches against Afghanistan. All three were ODIs, the latest being a World Cup 2019 contest. – REUTERS

Still, the ACB announced its team will tour Zimbabwe for three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals next month. The dates of the matches are yet to be finalized. Afghanistan posted wins against Scotland and Namibia in the Super 12 stages of the tournament. The T20 World Cup also saw Afghanistan veteran cricketer Asghar Afghan announcing his retirement from the game, after more than a decade with the Afghanistan side.

Mirwais Ashraf has featured in 46 ODIs and 24 T20Is for the Afghanistan side. While the 33-year-old scored 399 runs in the ODI format of the game, Mirwais Ashraf amassed 126 runs in T20I cricket. The right-arm pacer also picked up 46 wickets in the ODI format of the game, while he scalped 14 scalps in T20I cricket.

Former India skipper Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)
Former India skipper Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)
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Indian Players Should Prioritise Playing For Nation Rather Than IPL, Says Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev pointed out a couple of reasons which resulted in India’s underwhelming performance at the T20 World Cup after New Zealand’s win against Afghanistan saw India being knocked out despite starting as favourites and title contenders for the showpiece event.

Legendary all-rounder and former World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev feels the BCCI and Indian cricket should start planning immediately for the next World Cup instead of leaving things for later.

Kapil Dev lifting the 1983 World Cup | Reuters
Kapil Dev lifting the 1983 World Cup | Reuters

Kapil Dev: India Should Start Planning Right Away For Next 2022 T20I World Cup

The year 2022 will stage the next T20 World Cup, and with India not able to qualify for the knockouts this year – the first time it has happened in eight ICC events – Kapil Dev pointed out a couple of reasons which resulted in India’s underwhelming performance at the ongoing T20 World Cup.

“It’s time to look at the future. You should start planning right away. It’s not that since the World Cup is over, the Indian team’s entire cricket is too. Go and plan. I just feel that there should have been some gap between IPL and the World Cup. But this is certainly there that our players today have a lot of exposure but they could not make the most of it,” Kapil said.

T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India exited the ongoing 2021 T20I World Cup after New Zealand beat Afghanistan to book the second semi-final berth from Group 2 on Sunday.

Virat Kohli’s team came into the tournament as hot favourites but let their future depend on other teams after big losses to rivals Pakistan, who were the first team to make the final four, and then the Kiwis. India crashed out of the T20 World Cup after New Zealand registered an 8-wicket win over Afghanistan to join Pakistan, England, and Australia in the semi-final.

Kapil Dev: Players Should Take Pride In Playing For Their Nation Instead Of Prioritizing IPL Over Country

Kapil Dev went on to make a big statement, saying that certain cricketers prefer playing the Indian Premier League and do not give importance to representing the country first, and explained that the BCCI needs to look into it. Although Kapil Dev insisted that he is not against the idea of cricketers playing franchise cricket, the order should be the other way round.

“When players prioritise IPL over playing for the country, we what can we say. Players should take pride in playing for their nation. I don’t know their financial conditions so can’t say much. But I feel that first in line should be the country’s team and then franchises.

“I’m not saying do not play cricket there (for the franchise), but the responsibility is now on the BCCI to plan its cricket better. To not repeat mistakes we committed in this tournament is the biggest learning for us,” added Kapil.

IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy, Image Credits: Twitter

India thrashed Afghanistan and Scotland, but it was all too late, and now they find themselves out of the tournament even before their final game against Namibia on Monday. On the eve of their last league game in Group Two against minnows Namibia, Virat Kohli & Co. bowed out of a campaign in which they never really belonged.

The two losses to Pakistan and New Zealand -in which they got outplayed – had already put India on the exit path. From there, it was more of a battle pitching hope against hope, and it eventually all came crashing with New Zealand’s eight-wicket win over Afghanistan.

However, not managing to bring a single ICC Trophy back home between 2017 and 2021 will remain a barren patch in an otherwise pleasant run for this team. The same will stand true for Virat Kohli as he bows out of T20 captaincy and could also relinquish the same in the 50-over format very soon.

Sri Lanka, West Indies
Image Credit: Twitter
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ICC Confirms 8 Of 12 Teams To Play T20I World Cup 2022 Super 12 Stage; Sri Lanka, West Indies Out

ICC confirmed eight of the twelve teams that will play in the Super12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2022 next year, following the 2016 T20I WC defending champions West Indies‘ defeat to Australia.

West Indies lost their final league game of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 to Australia, meaning the defending champions’ campaign at this edition came to an end on Saturday. Following the same, automatic qualifiers for the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 are now confirmed.

Out of the 12 automatic qualifiers for the 2022 edition of the tournament, eight of the twelve teams from this year will go through directly into the Super12 stage. As the T20 World Cup 2022 will be held in Australia, they are the first team to go through as the host nation. The remaining seven teams are England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

West Indies
West Indies. Image Credits: Twitter

ICC Confirms Automatic Qualifiers For The 2022 T20I World Cup In Australia

The automatic qualifiers for the T20 World Cup 2022 are to be decided by the winner and the runners-up of the ongoing T20 World Cup, along with six teams that are ranked next highest on the ICC Men’s T20I rankings by November 15, which is the cut-off date for the same. Therefore, West Indies and Sri Lanka will need to play an additional qualifying round to enter the Super 12 stage of the next T20 World Cup in 2022.

“The automatic qualifiers for the Super 12 stage were determined to be the winner and runner-up of the current T20 World Cup, alongside the next six highest ranking teams on the ICC Men’s T20I rankings at the cut-off date of November 15,” the ICC stated.

ICC- International Cricket Council , AFP File Photo
ICC- International Cricket Council, AFP File Photo

“On Saturday, the teams that will fill those spots were confirmed courtesy of West Indies’ loss to Australia, which means they will sit 10th by the cut-off date, with Bangladesh climbing to eighth,” it further said. 

England, Pakistan, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia are the current top six teams. However, before West Indies’ clash with Australia, these six teams confirmed that their rankings will not go down during the remainder of the 2021 T20 World Cup.

West Indies Slipped Down To 10th Spot In Rankings While Sri Lanka Is Just Above Them At Ninth

West Indies losing to Australia also ensured that Afghanistan, which is ranked seventh at the moment, will not drop below eighth, no matter what will be the outcome of their upcoming games in this edition. With this defeat, West Indies dropped down to the tenth spot, with Sri Lanka just above them at ninth. Bangladesh has risen to the eighth position, thus gaining the cut for the 2022 edition.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka. Image Credits: Twitter

West Indies, therefore, will have to play the first round of the 2022 tournament to make it to the Super12s. They will be accompanied by Sri Lanka, Namibia, and Scotland in the same. West Indies managed to win just one match in the ongoing tournament, while Bangladesh lost all its games in the Super 12 stage.

Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan has been so busy because of his prowess in short-form cricket that he is rarely at home. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/ICC/Getty Images
Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan has been so busy because of his prowess in short-form cricket that he is rarely at home. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/ICC/Getty Images
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I Don’t Think That There Is A Kind Of Pressure On Us Expectation-wise: Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan, Afghanistan spinner asserted despite recent defeat against India they are still filled with confidence. Afghanistan suffered a 66-run defeat against India in the Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World Cup.

Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul had played knocks of 74 and 69, respectively, as India posted a total of 210/2 in the allotted twenty overs. Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin combined to take five wickets.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan (Photo Credit: Twitter/@cricketworldcup)

Rashid Khan Credits India For Taking Target To 210, Which Was 20-30 Runs Extra

After two similar defeats in this T20 World Cup, India has registered the highest score of this tournament, 210 against Afghanistan, and a big win as a result. India will now hope Afghanistan upset New Zealand, following which they can hope to correct their own net run-rate in the last match of the Super 12s, against Namibia.

“Looking to the wicket it’s a wicket where you can chase 170, 180, but that extra 30 runs, it’s always like a good — like in India they have a big batting lineup so they try to use the last three, four overs, which they took the total to 210,” said Rashid Khan during the post-match press conference.

“Yeah, I think that was the kind of mindset of the players, that already the Indian team, they struggled in the first two games in the batting department, so we as a team just tried to attack in that department which they struggled, and if we have the success we can be on a winning side. They played good cricket, and they just took the target to 210, which was on this wicket a bit much, like 20, 25 runs. But yeah, credit goes to them,” Rashid Khan added.

When asked whether expectations are taking a toll on Afghanistan, Rashid Khan said: “I don’t think that there is a kind of pressure on us expectation-wise. We know our skills. It’s all about playing against those big teams, it takes time.”

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

“We have to play with them more in a year in order to get used to them, understand them, their weakness, strong point. Then you work on your areas where you can come back stronger. 

“I think as a team we hardly get the opportunity to play with them, against India and other good sides. We don’t get that opportunity. We only play with them in the World Cup. As a team you have that kind of big team pressure.

“We know playing all around the world in the leagues with them and we’re used to with them, but still, the rest of the players, they need that kind of belief in themselves that we can deliver against a big side, as well. But it’s just kind of that belief. Once it comes, I think we can beat any side in a day, but that will come when we play more cricket with those teams,” Rashid Khan maintained.

Against a side missing one of their two big spinners, Mujeeb ur Rahman, India’s openers – KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma – looked more at home, putting together India’s biggest opening stand at T20 World Cups. Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant then provided India with the finishing kick with a 63-run partnership in the last 3.3 overs.

Having put such a high total, India’s bowling was too good for Afghanistan, keeping them to 144, moving into positives on the net-run rate. Sent in to bat, openers Rohit Sharma (74) and KL Rahul (69) put on a record 140-run partnership to power India to a massive 210 for 2. After the openers were dismissed, Hardik Pandya (35*) and Rishabh Pant (27*) took India past the 200-run mark.

Rashid Khan: Preparation And Mindset Remains The Same Despite Defeat To India

The spinner also said that the defeat against India would not make a big difference as his side will be raring to go for the match against New Zealand.

“I don’t think so it’s going to make a big difference to us as a team. We know India is one of the best teams, but still, the preparation remains the same, the mindset remains the same and we know the process.

“As long as we keep the process simple, we know which process we come up with against any side, so we will just try our best as a team to keep the same process, come against New Zealand in the next game and play with a fresh mind. That could be quarterfinal for us, as well,” he further said.

Afghanistan: Courtesy of ICC
Afghanistan: Courtesy of ICC

“If we win we know we have a good run rate so we could be the team to be in the semifinals. So just to go out there, enjoy your skills, enjoy your cricket. As long as you are enjoying I think there is more chances you could perform,” he added.

Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had impressive figures of 2 for 14 on his white-ball comeback, while Mohammed Shami picked 3 wickets as well. Ravichandran Ashwin, who last played an international game in June in the World Test Championship, finally got a game after nearly four and half months. . He was named in the playing XI after mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy developed a left calf issue.

For Afghanistan, the positive from the game was Karim Janat, who scored an unbeaten 42 off 22 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes besides taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma in his only over.

India 210 for 2 (Rohit 74, Rahul 69) beat Afghanistan 144 for 7 (Janat 42*, Nabi 35, Shami 3-32, Ashwin 2-14) by 66 runs

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Pakistan Will Help India If They Defeat New Zealand In 2021 T20I World Cup: Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra believes a Pakistan win against New Zealand in tonight’s T20 World Cup 2021 encounter will help Team India’s cause.

The Indian team was handed a comprehensive 10-wicket drubbing by Pakistan in their T20 World Cup opener. The Virat Kohli-led side has a week’s break before they take on New Zealand in their second Super 12 encounter on October 31.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Pakistan Will Help India’s Cause If They Defeat New Zealand

Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Babar Azam-led side can do Team India a favour by defeating the Kiwis. At the same time, he previewed the Pakistan-New Zealand encounter in a video shared on his YouTube channel.

He explained: “I feel Pakistan will help India if they defeat New Zealand. But if it happens the other way round, New Zealand beats Pakistan, it can be a three-way tie, the net run rate story can come if India beats New Zealand and assuming the three teams win their remaining matches.”

Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down India's score of 151 in 17.5 overs | Twitter | @WahabViki
Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down India’s score of 151 in 17.5 overs | Twitter | @WahabViki

The cricketer-turned-commentator added that Pakistan will have one foot in the semi-finals if they put it across the Black Caps.

Aakash Chopra reasoned: “If Pakistan beat New Zealand, then only Afghanistan will be there in between and two teams who have come from the qualifiers – Scotland and Namibia. Then Pakistan through, make your place in the semi-finals and enjoy.”

Pakistan will almost certainly seal a berth in the knockout stages of the ongoing T20 World Cup with a win tonight. It would leave India and New Zealand to fight it out for the other semi-final spot from the group unless Afghanistan can spring a surprise or two.

Aakash Chopra: Pakistan Will Look For Revenge As They Felt Humiliated When New Zealand Went There And Returned Back Without Playing Any Match

Aakash Chopra highlighted that Pakistan might even be looking for revenge after New Zealand’s last-minute withdrawal from their tour recently.

He observed: “It is slightly a grudge match because Pakistan felt very humiliated when New Zealand went there and returned without giving any reason. So I feel Pakistan may have a point to prove.”

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

The 44-year-old concluded by stating that Pakistan seems to be a well-rounded unit with both their bowling and batting coming to the fore.

Aakash Chopra said: “Pakistan is the team on song. They are playing like that, top three were anyway playing well and these conditions are going to suit Hafeez and Shoaib Malik a lot. They are bowling well. The team is looking formidable.”

Pakistan had limited-overs series against England and New Zealand scheduled at home ahead of the T20I World Cup, but the tours never came to fruition. Both boards pulled out at the last minute to tour Pakistan, citing security concerns and the wellbeing of players. New Zealand had even arrived there, but withdrew a few minutes before the toss happened.

New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. The Kiwis left Islamabad on a charter flight the next night. The Pakistan tour was Black Cap’s first tour to the Asian country since 2003, and it was made possible after receiving clearance from their security agency.

A deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore saw Pakistan become a no-go destination for international teams. In between 2012 and 2015, Pakistan hosted England in the UAE, which has staged most of its “home” games since the attack. However, a rapid improvement in security in recent years has led to the return of international cricket, with Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa, and Bangladesh touring in the past six years.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. Image Credits: Twitter
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Rashid Khan Denied He Ever Said He Will Marry If Afghanistan Win 2021 T20I WC

Rashid Khan insists his mind is occupied by the forthcoming T20I World Cup and not wedding bells as the leg-spin wizard looks to inspire Afghanistan at the Twenty20 global showpiece.

Still only 23 years of age, Rashid Khan is key to his nation’s hopes of a first-world title and a potential triumph that would deliver a rare bout of good news for his home country, especially after the militant group Taliban’s takeover. However, Rashid Khan said that speculation over his private life in the run-up to the tournament, currently underway in Oman and the UAE, will not derail his ambitions.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan (Photo Credit: Twitter/@cricketworldcup)

Rashid Khan Denied He Ever Said He Will Marry If Afghanistan Win Their First- 2021 T20I World Cup

Rashid Khan, who made his Afghanistan debut when he was a teenager- 17, is one of international cricket’s most in-demand players. He has already played 51 T20Is and more than 280 games in the format for franchises around the world.  A lucrative career has seen him ply his trade in England, Australia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, and, of course, the IPL in India, where he has been a regular for Sunrisers Hyderabad since 2017.

He denied he ever said: “I will marry when Afghanistan win a World Cup.”

“Actually, I was so shocked when I heard this because, to be honest, I never made a statement that I will marry once I win the World Cup,” said Rashid, whose family lives in Nangarhar in the eastern part of Afghanistan.

Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021[photo: Twitter]

“I just said that in the next few years I have more cricket and three World Cups (the 2021 and 2022 Twenty20 World Cups and the 50-over World Cup in 2023) so my focus will be on cricket rather than on getting married.”

He has 95 wickets in T20 internationals with an average of just 12.63 and in 2020 was voted the ICC’s Cricketer of the Decade in the format. Initially, ACB named Rashid Khan as their captain for the T20 World Cup 2021.

Rashid Khan soon came up with a tweet stating that he will be leaving the captaincy. Post that, ACB announced that Mohammad Nabi will be the captain of the team. Rashid Khan decided to step down from captaincy after the spinner claimed that his “consent” was not obtained before announcing the squad.

Rashid Khan Feels It Will Be A Spinners World Cup

On the low, slow wickets of the Gulf, the spinners will be key contributors, according to the leg-spin wizard. Rashid Khan, who will be playing his second T20 World Cup, said that the spinners are always “effective” on the slow pitches at three venues in the UAE, where the Super 12s, as well as the semi-finals and final, will be played.

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan turned in a few memorable match-winning efforts in SRH’s journey to the finals of the 2018 edition. He took 21 wickets and emerged as the second-highest wicket-taker in that edition. He has 93 scalps in 76 IPL games averaging a mere 20.55 at an economic rate of 6.33- the lowest economy rate ever in IPL history.

“I think it will be a spinners’ World Cup,” said Rashid.

“The wickets here are mostly very good for spinners, so I think that’s the main reason most of the teams have more spinners in their attack.”

India has packed four slow bowlers in their squad with Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Varun Chakravarthy, and Rahul Chahar, while England has Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali, and Liam Livingstone. Defending champions, the West Indies have Akeal Hosein, Hayden Walsh, and Roston Chase. Chris Gayle can also turn his arm over.

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP

Pakistan can call on Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, and Imad Wasim as frontline spinners. Veterans Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik can also give the ball a tweak. New Zealand has Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, and Todd Astle. Australia, yet to win a T20 World Cup, will look to Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar. Rashid Khan is not Afghanistan’s only front-line spinner — there is also Mujeeb Ur Rahman and skipper Mohammad Nabi.

“What I noticed during the Indian Premier League (the conclusion of which was also played in the UAE) was that wickets were good but there was not that much spin,” said Rashid.

“But I think the more we play in this World Cup we might see wickets which are a bit different and the more you play on these tracks it becomes slower and slower and they will be handy for spinners.” Rashid refused to predict any favourites for what is the seventh edition of the World Cup.

“Well it’s T20 and anyone can beat anyone on the day,” said Rashid, who stepped down from the captaincy ahead of the event over not being consulted in squad selection.

“We have a mixture of both experienced and young players and most importantly it’s quite balanced with a few all-rounders which make the side very balanced, especially in T20 when you have more of that all-round option.”

Afghanistan is placed in Group 2 of the World Cup with India, Pakistan, New Zealand, and two qualifiers in the Super 12 stage, which begins on Saturday.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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ICC To Discuss The Course Of The 5th Test Of The Incomplete India- England Test Series

ICC- International Cricket Council is likely to discuss the course of an incomplete bilateral series in the ICC board and chief executive committee meeting at the end of the T20 World Cup next month.

The recent five-Test series between England and India in the UK was halted after the fourth Test because the Indian team refused to take the field at Manchester, Old Trafford, following a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp as assistant physio Yogesh Parmar was found to be Covid-19 positive.

International Cricket Council – AFP File Photo
International Cricket Council – AFP File Photo

International Cricket Council (ICC) Likely To Discuss The Course Of India- England Incomplete Test Series

The England and Cricket Wales Board (ECB) had sought forfeiture from BCCI’s end or a continuation of the series. In turn, BCCI has offered to play a standalone Test in England next year to make up for the financial loss incurred by the ECB. India was leading 2-1 when the series was halted.

The fifth Manchester Test between England and India at the Old Trafford was cancelled – which the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) first called forfeiture but soon changed it & the BCCI called postponement.

So far, the big talking point has been whether this series has ended up being 2-2 in favour of England and India or 2-1 in India’s favour, which was the result after the first four Tests. As per BCCI’s announcement, the two teams will play a standalone Test or the rescheduled 5th Test when India tours England in 2022, which ICC will decide.

“The competition terms of the World Test Championship states that if, for whatever reason, the series is not being able to be completed with matches left to be played, the first step is to reschedule those matches in the competition window. As for teams pulling out on the morning of matches in the T20 World Cup, we have our own team to assess the situation unlike it happens in bilateral series,” ICC’s acting CEO Geoff Allardice said during a session with select media on Sunday.

ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice. (Credits: Twitter)
ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice. (Credits: Twitter)

“During the ICC board and CEC meeting, we have set aside a day to talk about the future directions of the FTP,” he added.

The ICC has managed to get all of its elite panel umpires to travel and officiate in the T20 World Cup. However, the tournament will continue to have two DRS reviews instead of having just one in T20Is. The ICC had increased the number of reviews last year during the pandemic because the host boards could not get neutral umpires.

Geoff Allardice: ICC Has Been In Regular Contact With Afghanistan Cricket Board After Militant Group Taliban’s Takeover

Geoff Allardice also mentioned that the ICC was hoping to get neutral umpires back after the T20 World Cup. But it will also depend on the travel restrictions in various countries since making arrangements for three-four officials is not the same as making one for an entire cricket team.

The ICC official also confirmed that the 20-overs World Cup, last staged in 2016, will embrace the Decision Review System (DRS), with each team having a maximum of two reviews per innings.

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul (Image Credit: AP)
Taliban fighters take control of the Afghan presidential palace after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)

The ICC Board will also discuss how to deal with Afghanistan cricket following the Taliban takeover of the nation. While calling off Afghanistan’s tour of Australia this year, Cricket Australia has made it clear that they won’t be playing the Afghanistan men’s team since the ruling regime doesn’t support women’s cricket in Afghanistan.

“When the change of regime took place in Afghanistan in August, we have been in regular contact with their cricket board and our primary function is to support the development of cricket in that country through the member board,” Allardice said.

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) acting CEO, Geoff Allardice, has revealed that the Afghanistan cricket team is currently preparing for the upcoming 2021 T20I World Cup, and their participation isn’t under any threat at the moment. The acting CEO further stated that ICC will have a meeting where they will discuss how to maintain a relationship with the Afghanistan Cricket Board.

Currently, they will play in the World Cup, but further participation will be pondered over.

Inzamamul Haq addresses a press conference in Lahore. — AP/File
Inzamam-ul-Haq addresses a press conference in Lahore. — AP/File
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Discharged From The Hospital After Suffering A Heart Attack

InzamamulHaq, the former Pakistan captain and one of their all-time batting greats, has been discharged from the hospital after suffering a heart attack in Lahore.

The former Pakistan skipper underwent a successful angioplasty on Monday evening. The former middle-order batsman, who shot to global prominence during Pakistan’s World Cup-winning 1992 campaign, had been complaining about chest pain over the last three days.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP

Inzamam-ul-Haq Was Stable But Under Observation

Initial testing cleared him but tests on Monday revealed he had suffered a heart attack and had to be rushed for surgery. According to his agent, Inzamam-ul-Haq was stable but was under observation. The 51-year-old who is Pakistan’s highest run-getter in ODIs is their third-highest scorer in Tests.

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

He was also among the country’s most successful captains. He retired from the international game in 2007 and has since held several positions in Pakistan, as a batting consultant and then the chief selector from 2016 to 2019. He has also worked as head coach of Afghanistan.

The former Pakistan captain underwent angioplasty on Monday after complaining of breathing difficulties. Soon after the news broke out, many including legendary cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Wasim Akram took to Twitter to wish him a speedy recovery.

Inzamam-ul-Haq Played A Role In The Rise Of Afghanistan

Inzamam-ul-Haq is one of the most successful batsmen in Pakistan cricket history. Inzamam-ul-Haq played a vital role in the rise of the Afghanistan cricket team. When he was the team’s coach, the Afghans upset the West Indies in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016.

Afghanistan
Afghanistan

The 51-year-old had played 120 Tests and 378 One-Day Internationals for Pakistan. Inzamam-ul-Haq scored 8,830 runs in Test cricket with the help of 25 centuries and 56 half-centuries. His highest score of 329 in the longest format of the game came in Lahore against New Zealand in 2002. In the 50-over format, the right-hander scored 11,739 runs with 83 half-centuries and 10 hundreds at an average of 39.53.

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