The Afghanistan Cricket team is going to be captained by Asghar Stanikzai from here on in.
Asghar has got the charge after the stepping down of the experienced all rounder Mohammad Nabi who had been at the helm for Afghanistan for the last couple of years.
Nabi captained Afghanistan in a lot of big tournaments including this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup.
The biggest achievement of Nabi’s captaincy was that he managed to guide Afghanistan to a win against a test playing nation Bangladesh in the Asia Cup 2014.
The reason because of which Nabi is believed to have resigned is his own deteriorating form.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board has named those players who would travel to Australia/New Zealand next month to represent the country in the biggest One Day International tournament i.e. the World Cup for the first time ever.
Mohammad Nabi, the off spinning all rounder, has been given the charge of the team again.
The Afghan squad is more or less similar to the one which had taken part in the Asia Cup and the World T20 Championship last year.
Though the performance of that side was not anywhere close to what it should have been, the selectors have still put the onus on those same players.
The Afghanistan Cricket team might be travelling to Pakistan after the World Cup for a bilateral One Day International series.
The international cricket has not taken place in Pakistan for a long time.
Considering the danger of the terrorist attack in Pakistan, the cricket boards of the test nations do not want to risk sending their players there.
The Sri Lankan team had become the victim of the terrorist attack when they had travelled to Pakistan back in 2009.
The bullets had been fired on the team bus of Si Lanka and several of their players had got severely injured. Since then, no top flight cricket has been organized in Pakistan.
Gary Ballance is gutted to be left out of the England One Day International side, but, he doesn’t think it’s impossible for him to get into the World Cup squad.
According to the Yorkshire left-hander, a couple of long series is there and changes might still be made in the side. So, he is very much hopeful.
Ballance’s place in the England test team appears to be certain now with the kind of summer he has had.
He played in the limited-over games as well over the summer, but, he could not convince the management that he was as much suited to it as he was to test cricket.
In the India series, he featured in only one game and that too was a forced change for England as Ian Bell had got injured while practicing.
The all rounder of the Australian Cricket team, Steve Smith, made a mark with the ball the other day against Zimbabwe as he got 3 wickets in his 4.1 overs with his part time leg spin.
Smith is crucial to Australia’s plans for the World Cup. He is a gritty middle order batsman who can fight out testing conditions and if he starts doing a bit as a bowler too, he would be a great prospect for the Kangaroos.
Smith was actually a bowler who could bat a bit when he had first broken into the Australian national side. But, over the last 5 years, he has worked more on his batting and his bowling has slowly faded away.
People were able to see the glimpses of the old Adam Gilchrist the other day at Lord’s during the match between MCC and the rest of the World XI.
The Australian left hander came to open the innings for the Rest of the World XI. His opening partner was the Indian legend Virender Sehwag.
The crowd greeted both of them with huge cheers as they were making their way onto the ground.
Both Gilchrist and Sehwag started going after the bowlers from the word go as per their nature. The boundaries started flowing.
Gilchrist, in particular, was very aggressive. Anything marginally short outside the off stump, he was pouncing on that. He hit a total of 4 fours in one over of Shaun Tait.
David Warner has been one of the most improved Australian Cricketer in the last one year or so. The hard hitting left hander has scored heaps of runs in all formats of the game all over the world in the recent past.
First, he helped his team Australia regain the Ashes by being ultra consistent in the 5-match return test series played against England last year, then, he went to South Africa and continued batting in the same way there as well. With some great innings played against the destructive South Africa pace battery, he proved himself as one of the best modern day test players.
Warner couldn’t win too many matches for his team in the World T20 Championship 2014 though and that was his only failure in the season.
The Afghanistan coach Rashid Latif hopes that his team doesn’t go Kenya’s way. Kenya had also taken giant strides in terms of rising in international cricket. They had even reached the semi final round in the 2003 World Cup, but, after that, they faded and today, they don’t even have the right to play One Day matches at the international level. Latif doesn’t want the same thing to happen with Afghanistan as well.
Just about 6 years ago, Afghanistan was one of the 5th division teams. No one would have expected them to develop so quickly to make it to the World Cup 2015, but, they did that and in the recently concluded Asia Cup, they showed that they can even create upsets in Australia and New Zealand next year.
The condition of Afghanistan Cricket has improved a lot in the last few years. Not only have they started to win matches on the ground, their financial status has become much better too. Now, the players of the team have central contracts which help them earn more than 2000 Dollars per month.
It’s a very low amount if compared to the earnings of the cricketers of other countries, but, for the Afghan cricketers, it’s a lot of money because about 5 years ago, they were getting virtually nothing to play for the national side.
The coach of the Afghanistan cricket team, Kabir Khan, doesn’t think that his team is ready to be given the test status.
Afghanistan has performed pretty well in the limited overs matches that they have played of late and the cricket pundits have started wondering if the time has come for them to play the longest form of the game. Some think yes it’s the right time, but, the others think that it might be too early. Kabir falls in that second category.