Asghar Afghan

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
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Sachin Tendulkar Won’t Be A Part Of Upcoming Legends League Cricket (LLC) Starting On January 20

Sachin Tendulkar, former legendary Indian batsman is not a part of the upcoming Legends League Cricket (LLC) as confirmed by SRT Sports Management Private Limited on Saturday. The LLC is a professional cricket league meant for retired players, and it has recently announced its Indian squad for the league.

A promotional video featuring actor Amitabh Bachchan shows that Sachin Tendulkar is also going to be a part of the league, which the official spokesperson of SRT Sports rejected.

Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter
Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sachin Tendulkar Won’t Play In Legends League Cricket 2022; He Led India Legends To Victory In The Inaugural Road Safety World Series

Starting January 20, the LLC will feature three star-packed teams which will lock horns with each other. Sachin Tendulkar has confirmed that he won’t be part of the upcoming legend’s league cricket which will kickstart on Jan 20 in Oman. Shortly after Sachin Tendulkar’s clarification, Amitabh Bachchan posted an apology for the previous tweet and posted a corrected promotional clip for the event.

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: AFP)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: AFP)

“The news about @sachin_rt’s participation in ‘Legends League Cricket’ is not true. The organizers should refrain from misleading cricket fans and Mr. Amitabh Bachchan,” said the official spokesperson of SRT Sports Management Pvt. Ltd.

Sachin Tendulkar had led India Legends to victory at the inaugural Road Safety World Series 2020-21. India Legends beat Sri Lanka Legends in the final of the tournament to lift the inaugural title.

Yusuf Pathan, Subramaniam Badrinath, and Irfan Pathan also tested positive for COVID after playing in the tournament for India Legends besides Sachin Tendulkar who was the first person to test Covid positive. The Master Blaster led the eventual winner-India Legends and ended as the side’s leading run-getter with 233 runs.

India Maharajas Team To Consist Of Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, And Harbhajan Singh Among Others

The Indian team will be represented by the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and the Pathan brothers — Irfan and Yusuf. The team will be called The India Maharajas which will see them compete against some other star players from other nations.

LLC had earlier announced the Asia team as ‘Asia Lions’ which comprises mostly former Pakistani and Sri Lankan players including Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Azhar Mahmood, Upul Tharanga, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammed Hafeez,  Mohammed Yousuf, Umar Gul and Asghar Afghan.

Shoaib Akhtar, Sanath Jayasuriya (Image Source: Twitter)
Shoaib Akhtar, Sanath Jayasuriya (Image Source: Twitter)

Regarding the World Giants team, from South Africa, the trio of Jonty Rhodes, Herschelle Gibbs, and Morne Morkel is set to feature in the tournament, much to the excitement of all fans. Interestingly, the World Giants team will have two of the most explosive batsmen who have ever graced the game of cricket in form of Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen. While Brett Lee is set to lead the pace attack, the side will also have two world-class left-arm spinners – Monty Panesar and Daniel Vettori.

All the matches of the tournament will take place at Muscat’s Al Amerat Cricket Stadium. The venue had also hosted six games in the 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup. The tournament will take place from January 20 to January 29.

India Maharajas

Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Subramaniam Badrinath, RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Naman Ojha, Manpreet Gony, Hemang Badani, Venugopal Rao, Munaf Patel, Sanjay Bangar, Nayan Mongia, and Amit Bhandari.

Asia Lions

Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kamran Akmal, Chaminda Vaas, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Azhar Mahmood, Upul Tharanga, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammed Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Yousuf, and Umar Gul, Asghar Afghan.

World Giants

Jonty Rhodes, Chris Gayle, Herschelle Gibbs, Brett Lee, Morne Morkel, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Daniel Vettori (few names yet to be revealed).

Afghanistan Cricket Board- Facebook/AfghanistanCricketBoardOfficial
Afghanistan Cricket Board- Facebook/AfghanistanCricketBoardOfficial
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Afghanistan Cricket Board May Allow Its National Players To Take Part In Only 3 Franchise Based T20 Global Leagues

Afghanistan Cricket Board may allow their national cricketers to take part in only three franchise-based T20 leagues in order to ensure their availability in domestic tournaments.

ACB recently formed a 14-member technical committee to observe and review the present cricketing structure currently in place. Following their assessment, they’ve come up with a new plan of action to raise its standards.

Afghanistan (Courtesy of ICC)
Afghanistan (Courtesy of ICC)

Afghanistan Cricket Board Will Reduce Players Participation And Allow Its Players To Take Part In 3 Franchise Based T20 Global Leagues

The technical committees had already discussed a couple of times on different aspects to take the game forward in the war-torn country considering they will have to report back to the top ACB management with specific plans on what needs to be done so that the board can govern the game better.

Afghanistan cricketers are a hot commodity in the world of franchise-based T20 cricket. They feature regularly in almost every big T20 tournament around the globe at the expense of skipping their domestic tournaments, considering their presence is extremely low in competitions played in their own backyard.

“Our (Technical committee) plan is to discuss with ACB high-ups regarding the participation of our leading national cricketers in the domestic tournament,” Raees Ahmadzai, part of the newly-formed technical committee said.

“Maybe the Afghanistan Cricket Board will reduce their (players’) participation in different franchise leagues and ask the players to take part in only three franchise-based T20 leagues in a year and they can choose their options as it is their choice,” he said.

Afghanistan cricket team. Credits: Twitter
Afghanistan cricket team. Credits: Twitter

“There are the recommendations from the selection committee – that in different Test nations, first-class cricket is a priority and we have to follow the same path as players will need to play first-class cricket to get selected in Test squad,” he said.

“You know T20 team selection is easy as most of our players are playing in different T20 leagues around the world. But when your top cricketers are not participating in domestic cricket, then the new generation will not become good cricketers. So let’s see but I am sure more than 90% of national players will take part in domestic cricket from next year,” he said.

ACB’s 14-member technical committee includes – Abdulwali Amin, Ahmad Shah Suliman Khil, Allah Dad Noori, Dawlat Khan Ahmadzai, Ihsan Obaid, Menhaj Raz, Mohammad Khan, Nazeem Jar, Mohammad Salam Afghan, Nawroz Mangal, Noor Malikzai, Raees Khan Ahmadzai, Shahid Alokozai, and Taj Malik Alam.

Afghanistan players participate in the leagues such as the Indian Premier League, Pakistan Super League, The Hundred, Bangladesh Premier League, Caribbean Premier League, Big Bash League in Australia. Their participation in these leagues means they miss the domestic tournaments.

Afghanistan Cricket Board’s Raees Khan Added The Committee Will Bring Overseas Curators To Develop Local Ground Staff

Raees Khan, who is very vocal regarding promoting fast bowlers, added that the committee will recommend bringing overseas curators to develop their local ground staff so that they can produce wickets to encourage fast bowlers.

”For the next season you know we want to prepare a good fast bowling wicket, good seaming wicket, bouncy wicket. And the cricket committee discussed… you know we need a good curator to help the other local curators to make a new good wicket for the fast bowlers,” he said.

Afghanistan will play 37 ODIs, 12 T20Is & 3 Tests in 2022-23, according to the Future Tour Program of ICC, apart from taking part in various ICC & ACC events in the next two years. Afghanistan will kickstart their season in 2022 in January by hosting the Netherlands for a three-match ODI series which is part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League in Qatar.

Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Following the series against the Netherlands, Afghans will tour Zimbabwe in January-February to play three ODIs while they are scheduled to host Australia & Pakistan for three ODIs. They will then travel to India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka to play three series (away) at the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League till 2023. Afghanistan so far has played only one Super League series and they earned full 30 points by clean-sweeping the Irish earlier this year.

The likes of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are familiar faces in almost every major T20 league including the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Big Bash League. The Taliban takeover of the country was followed by the resignation of Rashid Khan as the T20I captain and later the removal of CEO Hamid Shinwari. Adding to the raging fire, Cricket Australia decided to scrap their maiden Test against Australia later in the year.

Asghar Afghan has played six Tests, 114 ODIs, and 74 T20Is for Afghanistan. The right-handed batter made his debut against Scotland in 2009. Asghar Afghan played his first match in the longest format when Afghanistan locked horns with India in June 2018. He retired from international cricket during the 2021 T20I World Cup.

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
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Australia Might Be Without Tim Paine During Ashes 2021/22

Australia might be without their captain Tim Paine during the upcoming Ashes 2021-22, scheduled to commence on December 8 at the Gabba. Australia’s Test captain is likely to be out of action until early November, giving him a month to prepare for the Ashes.

Tim Paine is all set to undergo surgery on a chronic neck injury which makes him doubtful for the all-important series against arch-rivals England. The 36-year-old, who hasn’t trained in the last six weeks, earlier believed that normal treatment would enable a complete recovery but that hasn’t been the case.

Tim Paine (File Photo/CricketAustralia)
Tim Paine (File Photo/CricketAustralia)

Australia Might Be Without The Services Of Tim Paine Who Will Undergo Neck Surgery Before Ashes 2021/22

The decision to go under the knife was made last week, which Tim Paine believes will give him the best opportunity to recover. The doctors feel the Tasmanian cricketer could start training within a month from the date of surgery, which gives him a month to prepare for the Ashes 2021-22. Tim Paine, who has been under the scanner for his inconsistency of late, will be desperate to prove his worth against the England side.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au

Tim Paine’s captaincy and his wicket-keeping standards have come under severe criticism ever since India thrashed Australia 2-1 in the recently-concluded 4 match Test series. Tim Paine has led his country to 11 wins, four draws, and eight defeats.

Under Tim Paine’s leadership, Australia has retained the Ashes and won 11 of 23 matches, but has lost two successive home series to India. Australia has only played four Tests in the last 18 months – all against India last season – with the tour of South Africa earlier this year postponed due to Covid-19 concerns.

Tim Paine Grabbed The Spotlight For Commentating On The Afghanistan Issue

Tim Paine recently grabbed the spotlight, saying it will be difficult for Afghanistan to participate in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, slated to commence on October 17 in the UAE and Oman.

Speaking to SEN radio show,Australian skipper Tim Paine said: “I don’t think we want to be associated with countries that are taking opportunities or things off literally half their population.”

“We’ve heard nothing from the ICC, which is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in just over a month’s time. I’d imagine it’s impossible [for Afghanistan to take part] if teams are pulling out of playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores. How a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see,” he added.

Meanwhile, former Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan has hit back at Tim Paine in an open letter.

Addressing the Aussie cricketer, Afghan wrote: “It requires too much of hard work and dedication to reach this level of cricket. For a less privileged cricketing nation as Afghanistan with zero infrastructure and support, reaching where we are right now and playing shoulder to shoulder with top 10 countries requires sheer determination, passion, and talent,” Aghan said in the letter.

Asghar Afghan
Asghar Afghan. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

“Therefore, you should refrain from delivering aggressive statements which would result in isolating the Afghan cricket,” he added.

Incidentally, Afghanistan is placed with India, Pakistan, New Zealand, and two qualifying teams in the Super 12s.

Tim Paine. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Tim Paine. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
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Asghar Afghan Slams Tim Paine’s Statements Of Boycotting Afghanistan

Asghar Afghan, the former Afghanistan captain slammed Australian Test captain Tim Paine for his ‘all teams should boycott’ comments at Afghanistan team ahead of the forthcoming T20 World Cup 2021, set to start from October 17 in Oman and UAE.

With the state of Afghanistan in political turmoil and the Taliban not in support of women’s cricket, Tim Paine had stated that the current teams would not love to play against a country that is taking off opportunities from half of their population. Tim Paine also asserted that there’s no word from the apex body ICC on the matter.

Asghar Afghan
Asghar Afghan. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Asghar Afghan Slams Tim Paine’s Statements Of Boycotting Afghanistan

After coming across Tim Paine’s harsh comments, dejected Asghar Afghan slammed the Aussie Test skipper and urged all nations to support Afghanistan and its national team.

“I don’t think we want to be associated with countries that are taking opportunities or things off literally half their population,” Paine told on SEN radio

“We’ve heard nothing from the ICC, which is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in just over a month’s time. I’d imagine it’s impossible (for Afghanistan to take part) if teams are pulling out of playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores. How a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see,” he had said.

Tim Paine went a step further and stated that countries might consider boycotting playing against Afghanistan in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

“It’s (boycott) something that teams will discuss on the eve of that World Cup”.

Tim Paine (File Photo/CricketAustralia)
Tim Paine (File Photo/CricketAustralia)

Tim Paine, Australia Test captain said the chances of its first-ever test against Afghanistan going ahead are “not looking good” with the Taliban unwilling to let women play cricket and questioned why the game’s governing body had remained quiet on the issue.

Australia is due to face the Afghanistan men’s team in Hobart from November 27 but Cricket Australia said on Thursday it would not host the side if reports that women’s cricket would not be supported in the war-torn country were substantiated.

Asghar Afghan Appeals To All Nations To Support Afghanistan And Asks Tim Paine To Refrain From Aggressive Statements To Isolate Afghanistan

After coming across the comments, Asghar Afghan urged Tim Paine to refrain from giving such statements and appealed to all nations to support Afghanistan and its national team. He also stated that Tim Paine made his statement without knowing the actual circumstances.

“Mr. Paine! The Afghan National Cricket Team has the right to play not only in this World Cup but in all ICC organized tournaments/events in accordance with the rules and regulations of ICC, and I’m sure that our brave National Heroes will perform their best in it and showcase their elite Talents Inshallah.

As a Sportsperson and Professional Cricketer you know that it require too much of hard work and dedication to reach this level of Cricket. For a less privileged Cricketing Nation as Afghanistan with zero infrastructure and support reaching where we are right now and playing shoulder to shoulder with top 10 countries require sheer determination, passion and talent,” said Asghar Afghan.

Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi playing for Aghanistan. Credits: Twitter
Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi playing for Afghanistan. Credits: Twitter

“Therefore, you should refrain from delivering aggressive statements which would result in isolating the Afghan Cricket. Cricket is now the No#1 Sport in Afghanistan and is being followed by nearly 30 million Afghans,” said Asghar Afghan.

He added, “This shows, either you are unaware of the circumstances or talking out of contradiction; in any case you are mistreating Afghan Cricket and all the gains we have obtained with hardship in the past decade. (Sports should be separated from politics)”

Afghanistan named its T20 World Cup squad on Thursday with Rashid Khan as the skipper, but the star spinner immediately resigned from captaincy, stating he was not consulted before picking the 15-member side. Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi has been named Afghanistan skipper for the upcoming T20 World Cup after star spinner Rashid Khan stepped down from captaincy protesting the selection of the national squad without his inputs.

Afghanistan T20 Squad: Rashid Khan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Shahzad, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Naveen ul Haq, Hamid Hassan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Qais Ahmed  Reserves: Afsar Zazai, Farid Ahmed Malik

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. Image Credits: Twitter
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Rashid Khan Declines T20I Captaincy As He Believes He Is “Better Off As A Player”

Rashid Khan has declined to captain the Afghanistan T20 side fearing it might affect his performance as a player which he feels is more crucial to the team.

Afghanistan has been changing captains frequently and earlier this week named Hashmatullah Shahidi as their Test and ODI skipper. Hashmatullah Shahidi is set to lead the team in ODI and Test cricket, with Rahmat Shah as his deputy in both formats.

Afghanistan’s Hashmatullah Shahidi. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)
Afghanistan’s Hashmatullah Shahidi. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

Rashid Khan Is Better Off As A Player And Is Happy To Remain Vice-Captain

However, the Afghanistan Cricket Board is yet to name the T20 captain.

“I am very much clear in my mind that I am better off as a player. I am good in the role as vice-captain and help the captain wherever I am needed. It’s better for me that I stay away from this position,” Rashid told ‘ESPNcricinfo’.

“I want to do well for the team as a player and my performance is a bit more crucial for the team rather than me thinking about different things being a captain.”

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

Rashid Khan has captained Afghanistan in 2 Tests and under him, Afghanistan won the Test against Bangladesh. He has also captained the national team in 7 ODIs and 7 T20Is and Afghanistan won 1 ODI and 4 T20Is under his captaincy. Asghar Afghan is Afghanistan’s most successful limited-overs skipper winning 33 ODIs out of 58 and 39 T20Is out of 49. He also led in 4 Tests and Afghanistan won 2 and lost 2.

Rashid Khan Focusing On Forthcoming T20 World Cup And Is Afraid Captaincy Might Affect His Performance

With the T20 World Cup around the corner, Rashid Khan feels he is better off focussing on what he does best.

“Also, it takes time, and right now the most important thing is the World Cup which is quite near and I feel it is too much for me to have. I am afraid it might affect my performance for the team which is a key so I am very happy as a player and whatever the decision board and selection committee make I am fully behind it and will appreciate it.”

“If you have a year or two, you manage yourself and understand things only then it’s easier to deal with the role. I was the captain once and they [board] know my mindset and which is why they kept the spot empty looking for someone else while I stay as a vice-captain,” said one of the best spinners in limited-overs cricket.

Asghar Afghan (Photo: AFP)
Asghar Afghan (Photo: AFP)

Rashid Khan, who plays for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, is set to turn out for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League. Ever since his debut IPL season in 2017, Rashid Khan has garnered all the right eyeballs owing to his mastery with the ball.

The leg-spinner turned in a few memorable match-winning efforts in SRH’s journey to the finals the 2018 edition. He took 21 wickets and emerged as the second-highest wicket-taker in that edition. He has 85 scalps in 69 IPL games averaging a mere 20.1 at an economic rate of 6.23-the lowest economy rate ever in IPL history.

Afghanistan T20I vice-captain Rashid Khan said that it was Asghar Afghan’s captaincy that has led Afghanistan to where it is today. Rashid Khan’s comment comes just one day after Asghar Afghan was removed as Afghanistan’s ODI and Test skipper.

However, Asghar Afghan’s removal as the national team’s captain comes after the Afghanistan Cricket Board’s investigation committee’s report concluded that some of his decision led to the team’s loss against Zimbabwe earlier this year in the UAE.

Zimbabwe went on to win the 1st Test by 10 wickets inside two days to hand Afghanistan an embarrassing defeat. However, Afghanistan came back strongly in the second Test to level the series 1-1.

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Cricket Australia May Confirm One-Off Test Against Afghanistan

Cricket Australia (CA) is on the brink of confirming that their postponed one-off Test against Afghanistan will go ahead later this year, while a match against the world’s newest Test member Ireland hasn’t been ruled out either.

The sole Test, the first between the two teams, between Australia and Afghanistan was a victim of Covid of 2020, but Cricket Australia is preparing to announce the match will go ahead in November in Hobart.

Australia vs Afghanistan, 2019 World Cup
Australia vs Afghanistan, 2019 World Cup Source: FOX SPORTS

Cricket Australia Was Criticized For Australia Pulling Out Of South Africa Tour

The one-off Test will also give Tim Paine’s men some much-needed red-ball cricket before the Ashes starts, with Cricket Australia’s calendar relatively free after regrettably pulling out of the South African tour. Afghanistan announced the Test would go ahead in November on their own official website late last year.

Australia’s standing on the world stage would be benefitted after they were criticized for pulling out of South Africa despite the abandonment due to Covid19 fears essentially killing their hopes of playing in the Test Championship final at Lord’s.

Cricket Australia Test Team
Cricket Australia Test cricket team at the Brisbane cricket ground. (Photo | AP)

Meanwhile, The Sunday Age reported moves were “afoot” for Ireland who became a Test-playing member in 2017 to play Australia in the 2022-23 summer. It’s understood that any such decision on playing Ireland is a long way from being confirmed, with one Cricket Australia spokesperson describing any such move as being in an “embryonic” stage if at all.

Australia hasn’t played Ireland in any format since 2016. Ireland is yet to win one of their three Tests since being promoted but almost pulled off an upset at Lord’s in 2019. Joe Root’s side was bowled out for 85 in their first-innings and trailed by more than 100 runs halfway through the match. But England stormed back to bowl the Irish out for 38 in the second innings to secure a 143-run victory.

Afghanistan Had Defeated Zimbabwe In The 2nd Test After Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, And Rashid Khan’s Heroics

Earlier this month Afghanistan defeated Zimbabwe by six wickets in the 2nd Test at the UAE off the back of an unbeaten double century to Hashmatullah Shahidi and 164 to captain Asghar Afghan. Big Bash star Rashid Khan took 11 wickets in the match, including an incredible 7-137 off 62.5 overs in the second innings. Speaking to ESPN earlier this month, Rashid Khan said playing Australia in its own backyard would be “historic”.

“The Test in Perth was huge for us, and everyone back home was waiting for it,” Rashid, who was awarded ICC Men’s T20I player of the decade, told ESPN earlier this month.

“It could have been a historic Test. It is like a dream that comes true for any player to be a part of it. I would have considered myself so lucky to play in Australia against Australia, but this pandemic has really affected us. Hopefully, things are better, and this year is a huge year for us as a team, as a nation, and as players, and we will try our best to deliver.”

The Afghanistan announcement will go a long way in improving their reputation of ignoring the smaller Test nations in the world. Afghanistan played its first test match in 2018, becoming the 12th test nation. Since then, they have played 5 test matches, compiling a record of 2 wins and 3 defeats.

Rashid Khan
Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan celebrates the fall of a wicket during the 27th match of the 2019 World Cup between West Indies and Afghanistan at Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds, England on July 4, 2019. (Photo Credit: Twitter/@cricketworldcup)

Cricket Australia was criticized widely for pulling out of the tour of South Africa, with many arguing that it was another sign that the governing body was only interested in playing their fellow ‘big three’ members England and India. Cricket Australia was encouraged to simply “trust” that the tour would run smoothly despite having no assurances of logistics in the Covid-stricken nation.

While Sri Lanka’s two-Test tour of South Africa was successfully completed despite Covid-19 fears in the rainbow nation it’s understood Sri Lanka Cricket breathed a sigh of relief and considered themselves fortunate not to contract the virus. Australia’s tough border regulations and the difficulties in securing a charter plane, particularly if any member contracts the virus, meant Cricket Australia prioritized the welfare of the players and coaching staff first.

By pulling out of the tour too, Australia denied themselves the chance to qualify for the Test Championship final, a match Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer had long spoken about as a driving goal for the side. The Test Championship will be played between New Zealand and India from June 18 at Lord’s.

Afghanistan skipper Asghar Afghan equals MS Dhoni's record of most T20I wins as captain , IANS File Photo
Afghanistan skipper Asghar Afghan equals MS Dhoni's record of most T20I wins as captain , IANS File Photo
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Asghar Afghan Equals Tally Of Most T20I Wins With MS Dhoni

Asghar Afghan equalled the tally of most wins as captain in T20I cricket with former India skipper MS Dhoni. Both of them have led their respective teams to 41 victories.

Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan equalled MS Dhoni’s record of most wins as captain in T20I cricket after leading his team to a comprehensive 45-run win over Zimbabwe on Friday. Afghanistan had levelled the Test series 1-1 against Zimbabwe earlier and is now leading 2-0 with the final T20I on 20th March, Saturday.

Asghar Afghan
Asghar Afghan (Reuters)

Ashgar Afghan Equals MS Dhoni’s Record Of Most Wins As T20I Skipper

MS Dhoni had won 41 games in 72 T20I matches as India captain with a winning percentage of 59.28 per cent while Asghar has won 41 games as Afghanistan skipper in 51 matches and has a winning percentage of 81.37. MS Dhoni has led Team India in 72 T20I matches, which also include the historic inaugural 2007 T20 World Cup triumph. Asghar Afghan, on the other hand, has led the Afghanistan team in 51 T20Is.

MS Dhoni In 2007 T20I World Cup
MS Dhoni In 2007 T20I World Cup (Photo: Twitter)

Afghanistan sealed a 2-0 unbeatable lead in the 3-match T20I series against Zimbabwe after winning the 2nd T20I by a handsome 45-run margin at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Asghar Afghan was leading the Afghanistan national cricket team in every format. ACB removed Asghar Afghan from the captaincy role in every format before the 2019 World Cup. Gulbadin Naib led the Afghanistan team in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 but they lost all 9 matches.

Though Rashid Khan-led Afghanistan team won a Test against the hosts Bangladesh and won a three-match T20I series against Windies in India, the ACB hasn’t impressed much with the team’s performances. The national cricket board decided to bring back their most experienced captain Asghar Afghan for the leadership role of the team in every international cricket format.

Mohammad Nabi And Rashid Khan Stars In 2nd T20I While Rahmanullah Gurbaz Top  Scored With 87 In 1st T20I

Indian Premier League stars Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan were the stars of Afghanistan’s big win as the duo came up with the all-around show to outclass Zimbabwe. After opting to bat, Afghanistan posted 193 on the board in their quota of 20 overs before restricting the visitors to 148-all out in 17.1 overs.

A quickfire 53 from 38 balls from Karim Janat and a 15-ball 40 from senior campaigner Mohammad Nabi helped Afghanistan post the big total. They lost wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz who had scored 87 in the first T20I, for 9 early but Usman Ghani, Karim Janat and Mohammad Nabi ensured Afghanistan reach a total which they can defend. Rashid Khan picked 3 scalps while both Naveen ul Haq and Mohammad Nabi picked 2 scalps apiece.

Rashid Khan
Photo Credit: Twitter/@cricketworldcup.

“T20s are very important for us with the World Cup coming. Morale is high if you win. Today Karim and Usman partnership was really good,” Asghar said.

Usman Ghani scored 49 and Karim Janat hit fifty before Rashid Khan picked three wickets as Afghanistan clinched the three-match T20I series against Zimbabwe. In the first T20I, Afghanistan won by 48 runs riding on Ashgar Afghan’s 55 and Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s 87. Rashid Khan had taken 3 scalps in the first T20I too.

England skipper Eoin Morgan is third on the list with 33 wins while Pakistan’s Sarfaraz Ahmed has 29 wins as captain. Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has 27 wins as a skipper is fifth on the list.

Asghar Afghan has played 5 Tests, 114 ODIs, and 71 T20Is and captained Afghanistan in 4 Tests, 58 ODIs, and 51 T20Is for the relative newcomers of cricket.

Hashmatullah Shahidi. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghanistan's Hashmatullah Shahidi makes the winning run during the 2019 Cricket World Cup warm up match between Pakistan and Afghanistan at Bristol County Ground in Bristol, southwest England, on May 24, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
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Hashmatullah Shahidi Felt Great About Becoming The 1st Afghan Double-Centurion

Hashmatullah Shahidi, the Afghanistan batsman became the first player from his war-torn Asian country to score a double-hundred in Test cricket and said that it was a proud moment for him and the country. Afghanistan batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi last week achieved a significant milestone when he became the first player from his country to score a double-hundred in the longest format of the game.

Hashmatullah Shahidi celebrates his century © Abu Dhabi Cricket
Hashmatullah Shahidi celebrates his century © Abu Dhabi Cricket

Hashmatullah Shahidi Felt Great After Becoming The 1st Afghan To Score 200

Speaking about his incredible feat on Sunday, the batsman said that he is extremely proud of his achievement and said that it is a great moment for him personally and for the country is as well since Afghanistan is a relatively new entrant having featured in only 6 Tests. Afghanistan debuted as a Test nation in 2018 and they have a double centurion already in such a short span of time.

”I feel great about becoming the first Afghan double centurion, and it’s a proud moment for me, my family, and the nation because in such short time someone from Afghanistan achieved this milestone,” Hashmatullah Shahidi said.

Asghar Afghan was reappointed as Afghanistan captain just eight months after being controversially sacked as skipper, the war-torn country's cricket board announced. (Photo:AFP)
Asghar Afghan (Photo:AFP)

In the second Test against Zimbabwe at Abu Dhabi last week, he also became just the third batsman from his nation to score a century in Test cricket as he remained unbeaten on 200 off 443 deliveries. The batsman hit 21 fours and a six in his nearly 10-hour long stay at the crease. More importantly, he was part of a record 307-run partnership with skipper Asghar Afghan, who himself scored his maiden century and was dismissed for 164.

Afghanistan played their first ever test match against India on 14 June 2018 at Bengaluru, India. Ashgar Afgan who has scored 440 runs is the leading run-scorer while Rashid Khan who has 34 scalps is their leading wicket-taker Apart from the duo, Rahmat Shah was the other centurion having scored 102 against Bangladesh in 2019.

Hashmatullah Shahidi Said Skipper Asghar Afghan Gave Him Confidence After Disappointment In The 1st Lost Game

Hashmatullah Shahidi said that his skipper gave him confidence and the duo were determined to take the responsibility.

”Our discussion was that we must fulfill our responsibility as senior players because he is the captain of the side and the most senior player and he also gave confidence to me and told me you should also take responsibility as a senior because in the first game we didn’t play well and it was a disappointing game for us,” said Hashmatullah Shahidi.

Sean Williams
Sean Williams | Getty Images.

The partnership was important in bringing Afghanistan back in the series after they had lost the first Test within two days. Afghanistan went on to win the Test by 6 wickets and levelled the two-match series 1-1.

In the 2nd Test, Afghanistan scored 545/4 before Zimbabwe scored 287. Following on, it was assumed the match would be over within 4 days but Sean Williams and Donald Tiripano fought to score unbeaten 151 and 95 respectively forging a record 187 run partnership for the 8th wicket. However, Afghanistan finally overcame the dogged resilience and won chasing the target of a little over 100 losing 4 wickets.

Sean Williams was the leading scorer amassing 264 runs averaging 132 while Rashid Khan who was injured in the 1st Test picked 11 scalps averaging 25. He bowled 99.2 overs in the 2nd Test-the maximum by any bowler in a Test since 1998. In 1998, Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan had bowled 113.5 overs vs England at The Oval. Rashid Khan created the record for bowling the most number of overs in a single Test in the 21st century.

Gulbadin Naib, Afghanistan, Asghar Afghan, ICC World Cup 2019, Camp
Asghar Afghan (Image Credit: Getty Images)
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Asghar Afghan Returns As Afghanistan Captain In Every Format

After some recent disappointing performances in international cricket, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has decided to reappoint Asghar Afghan as the national team captain for all the international cricket formats.

Before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Asghar Afghan was leading the Afghanistan national cricket team in every format. But suddenly, in a surprising way, just before the CWC 2019 team selection, the ACB removed Asghar Afghan from the captaincy role in every format. Many teammates were shocked in that decision and openly criticised the ACB for taking that big decision just before a big tournament.

Asghar Afghan Returns As Afghanistan Captain In Every Format 2
Afghanistan national cricket team (Image Credit: Twitter)

Gulbadin Naib led the Afghanistan team in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, and they finished that tournament without winning a game as they suffered defeats in all the nine matches. After the dismal performances in that tournament, Naib was sacked from the ODI captaincy role and the T20I captain Rashid Khan was appointed as the captain in every format.

Asghar Afghan Returns As Afghanistan Captain In Every Format 3
Gulbadin Naib (Image Credit: Google)

Though Rashid Khan-led Afghanistan team won a Test against the hosts Bangladesh and won a three-match T20I series against Windies in India, the ACB hasn’t impressed much with the team’s performances, especially in the recent Test and ODI cricket. Most recently, Windies beat Rashid Khan-led Afghanistan in the one-off Test and three-match ODI series in India.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan (Image Credit: Google)

Asghar Afghan has led Afghanistan in 104 internationals

Asghar Afghan, Afghanistan
Asghar Afghan (Image Credit: Google)

Now, the national cricket board has decided to bring back Asghar Afghan for the leadership role of the team in every international cricket format. Asghar Afghan is the most experienced and successful international captain for Afghanistan. He has led the team in 104 international matches where his team has won 69 matches and lost 31 games.

After Mohammad Nabi (202 matches), Asghar Afghan is the second most experienced international cricketer for Afghanistan. Afghan has played 181 international matches (4 Tests, 111 ODIs and 66 T20Is) where he has scored 3,772 runs (average 23.72) and also taken four wickets.

Shai Hope, Windies
Shai Hope (Image Credit: ICC Twitter)
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Afghanistan Vs Windies 2019/20: Third ODI – Centurion Shai Hope Guides Windies To Complete Whitewash

Windies completed clean sweep after winning the third and final ODI of the series against Afghanistan on Monday (11th November) at Lucknow. Opener Shai Hope‘s unbeaten century guided the team to the brilliant five-wicket victory. With this defeat, Afghanistan have now suffered 12 consecutive ODI defeats.

Windies already secured this ODI series ahead of this match as they were leading it by 2-0 before Monday night. Kieron Pollard-led Windies team came to play this ODI to complete the whitewash and they succeeded to achieve it.

Afghanistan batting once again faced trouble

This time the Caribbean side decided to field first after winning the toss. Once again, Afghanistan batsmen failed to provide a good start as they lost the wickets at regular intervals. Apart from the opener Hazratullah Zazai, all other top-order batsmen (till no.4) failed to cross the 10-run mark. Zazai scored 50 runs off 59 balls (7 fours and 2 sixes).

Middle-order batsman Najibullah Zadran was dismissed on 30 runs off 32 balls. Struggling on 118/5, Asghar Afghan and Mohammad Nabi handled that situation efficiently. They built up a solid partnership as it stretched to 127 runs partnership for the sixth wicket.

Afghanistan Vs Windies 2019/20: Third ODI - Centurion Shai Hope Guides Windies To Complete Whitewash 4
Asghar Afghan and Mohammad Nabi (Image Credit: Twitter)

While Afghan scored 86 runs off 85 balls (3 fours and 6 sixes), Nabi remained not out on 50 runs off 66 balls (3 fours and only six). Finally, Afghanistan managed to score 249/7 in 50 overs.

Windies pacers Keemo Paul (3/44) and Alzarri Joseph (2/59) picked up three and two wickets respectively.

Afghanistan Vs Windies 2019/20: Third ODI - Centurion Shai Hope Guides Windies To Complete Whitewash 5
Afghanistan Vs Windies 2019/20: Third ODI - Centurion Shai Hope Guides Windies To Complete Whitewash 6

Shai Hope scored 109 not out and safely led the team to the victory

In reply, Windies lost their first two wickets in just four runs. Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman trapped the opener Evin Lewis and the next batsman Shimron Hetmyer for lbw in the third over of that innings. However, the other opener Shai Hope handled that early pressure situation very well.

Afghanistan Vs Windies 2019/20: Third ODI - Centurion Shai Hope Guides Windies To Complete Whitewash 7
Mujeeb Ur Rahman took two quick wickets at the beginning (Image Credit: ICC Twitter)

While the other batsmen were losing their wickets in regular intervals, the wicketkeeper-batsman Shai Hope guiding the team with the crucial 50+ partnerships. Debutant Brandon King (39), Nicholas Pooran (21) and skipper Kieron Pollard (32) all got starts but failed to capitalise those to the big knocks. However, Shai Hope took that responsibility and handled it perfectly.

For the third, fourth and fifth wicket, Hope and his changing partners put 64, 51 and 63 runs partnerships respectively.

With the help of Roston Chase, Shai Hope safely guided the team to the five-wicket victory as they reached the target in 48.4 overs. Chase-Hope had the unbroken 71 runs partnership for the sixth wicket. During that partnership, Hope completed his seventh ODI century in 133 balls.

Shai Hope, Windies
Shai Hope (Image Credit: ICC Twitter)

While Roston Chase was not out on 42 runs off 32 balls (3 fours), Shai Hope was batting on 109 runs off 145 balls (8 fours and 3 sixes).

Apart from Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2/49), all other Afghanistan bowlers failed to take more than one wicket.

Afghanistan Vs Windies 2019/20: Third ODI - Centurion Shai Hope Guides Windies To Complete Whitewash 8
Afghanistan Vs Windies 2019/20: Third ODI - Centurion Shai Hope Guides Windies To Complete Whitewash 9

Afghanistan vs Windies batting scenario

Team Afghanistan Windies
Total 249/7 (50 overs) 253/5 (48.4 overs)
Dots 179 150
1s 79 104
2s 15 13
3s 0 0
4s 17 18
6s 10 7
Extras 12 (8 wides, 3 leg-byes, 1 bye) 9 (4 wides, 4 byes, 1 leg-bye)

Earlier in this series, Windies beat Afghanistan by seven wickets and 47 runs in the first and second ODIs respectively.

Since August 2014, it was the first time when Windies won an ODI series. In August 2014, the home team Windies whitewashed Bangladesh in the three-match ODI series.

Meanwhile, the latest defeat was the 12th consecutive ODI defeat for Afghanistan. This losing run is continuing from the beginning of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.