Afghanistan’s captain at the ICC Cricket World Cup would like to correct the old expression ‘It’s just cricket’.
Gulbadin Naib is Afghan team’s ODI captain and wants cricket observers to pay close attention to what his Afghan players would be doing on the field, wishing the focus to be on the world-class skill of players like Rashid Khan instead of the constant mirroring on the war and the problems it presented for promoting a far-flung team. Nain who spent most of his childhood as a refugee in Pakistan stated that the total focus should be on the team’s performance. Taking a look into the records of the last five to six years, one can tell that the team progressed very well not in terms of cricket but overall.
Afghanistan would be facing 1996 World Cup winner Sri Lanka in their second match of the World Cup tournament. The match that is going to be held in Cardiff presents a real chance for the Afghans to add a feather to their cap by securing a second win at ODIs marquee tournament to their landmark, by able to make one-wicket victory over Scotland in 2015.
Both teams are working out their unequal losses; even though Afghanistan was more aggressive against five-time champion Australia in a seven-wicket loss than Sri Lanka was in a beating 10-wicket defeat to 2015 runner-up New Zealand. Naib knows that defeating a full test member of the ICC and a former world champion and three-time finalist would indicate a major change of impression of their team.
However, Sri Lanka’s opening match started badly and kept getting bad in Cardiff. There was no rearguard rally. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne was the only batsman to resist the New Zealand assault, without getting dismissed for 52 in a total of 136. The Sri Lankan bowling attack couldn’t a wicket and the Kiwis reached their victory line in 16 overs.
If sequences count for anything, Afghanistan is scheduled a win, its record in completed games so far in 2019 is win-loss-win-loss-win-loss.