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Afghanistan national team player to retire during T20 World Cup



(Last Updated On: October 31, 2021)

Former Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan has said the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match against Namibia on Sunday will be his last.

Afghan, 33, has represented Afghanistan in 114 ODIs and six Tests, and if he plays Sunday’s game, will have featured in 75 T20Is.

Only Mohammad Nabi has played more international matches for the country.

With 4,215 runs so far across formats, he is Afghanistan’s third-highest run-scorer of all time.

Afghan announced the news in a video on social media on the eve of the fixture. This was confirmed by the Afghanistan Cricket Board in a statement on social media that said, “Afghanistan’s ex-captain Asghar Afghan who holds the highest winning streak as a captain in T20 internationals surpassing Indian legend MS Dhoni by one extra win, decides to bid farewell with all formats of cricket in Afghanistan’s third match against Namibia.

“[ACB] welcomes and respects his decision, expresses gratitudes for his services to the country. It will take a lot of hard work for young Afghan cricketers to fill his shoes.”

Having featured in the U17 side for Afghanistan, Afghan made his senior debut in 2004. He has since been a key member of the Afghanistan side that enjoyed a meteoric rise up the ranks from Division 5 in 2008 to playing a 50-over World Cup in 2015 and becoming a Full Member nation in 2018.

Afghan has been skipper for 115 of the matches he’s played, including in the country’s maiden Test. He has been captain in 52 T20Is, and led in 42 wins, putting him one ahead of MS Dhoni, who won 41 of the 72 matches he has led.

He retires with a century in both ODIs and Tests, having made 164 in the first innings against Zimbabwe in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

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Torch relay starts final leg as Hangzhou prepares for Asian Games



(Last Updated On: September 21, 2023)

The torch relay for the Asian Games 2023 began its final stage in Hangzhou in China on Wednesday morning, marking the start of the final countdown towards the much-anticipated inauguration of this grand event.

Scheduled to open on Saturday, September 23, the 19th Asian Games is poised to become the largest edition to date. It will feature 12,500 athletes from 45 countries and regions, all vying for glory across 40 sports, 61 disciplines and 481 events.

During Wednesday’s relay, Olympic badminton champion Chen Yufei, who clinched the women’s singles crown at Tokyo 2020, held the honor of being the first torchbearer among the 203 individuals entrusted with this significant role, CGTN reported.

Notable figures such as accomplished gymnast Zou Jingyuan, who has garnered an impressive trio of world titles on the parallel bars, and tennis star Wu Yibing, the first male player from the Chinese mainland to secure an ATP Tour title in the Open Era, also graced the relay as distinguished bearers.

The flame has journeyed across 11 cities in Zhejiang Province, namely Huzhou, Jiaxing, Shaoxing, Ningbo, Zhoushan, Taizhou, Wenzhou, Lishui, Jinhua and Quzhou, before returning to Hangzhou on Wednesday to culminate its final leg. The relay has seen the participation of over 2,000 torchbearers, spanning a wide age range from 14 to 84, each contributing their unique spirit to this showpiece event.

In line with the Games’ theme of being “Green, Smart, Economical, Ethical,” the torch relay ingeniously integrates a digital component. The online relay, known as the “Digital Torchbearer,” was inaugurated after the Asian Games flame collection ceremony on June 15.

So far, an astounding number of over 100 million people have engaged in the Asian Games’ online torch relay, exemplifying the widespread enthusiasm and involvement surrounding this momentous occasion.

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ACB name squad for Asian Games Men’s Cricket competition



(Last Updated On: September 21, 2023)

Afghanistan Cricket Board’s (ACB) Selection Committee on Wednesday announced the 15-member AfghanAbdalyan Squad for the Asian Games Men’s Cricket Competition, which will be played from September 27 to October 7 in Hangzhou, China.

Veteran All-rounder Gulbadin Naib will lead the AfghanAbdalyan squad which features Mohammad Shahzad, Karim Jannat, Sediqullah Atal, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Qais Ahmad, and Afsar Zazai, who have represented Afghanistan in the past.

The squad also includes Noor Ali Zadran, Zubaid Akbari, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad and Shahidullah Kamal who recently featured in the ACC Men’s Emerging Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka.

The AfghanAbdalyan squad also features Wafiullah Tarakhil, a talented Afghanistan U19 middle-order batter, who was part of the Afghanistan Future Stars lineup during the Afghanistan Home Tri-Series against Bangladesh U19 and Sri Lanka U19 in Abu Dhabi in March-April earlier this year.

As per the tournament’s rule, AfghanAbdalyan will feature in the event from the quarter-finals stage, which is scheduled to take place on October 3-4, followed by the semi-finals on October 6, and the grand finale on October 7 in Hangzhou, China.

The third-place play-off match which will be played for the bronze medal, will also be held on October 7.

AfghanAbdalyan Squad for the Asian Games Men’s Cricket Competitions:

Gulbadin Naib (C), Mohammad Shahzad (VC & WK), Sediqullah Atal, Zubdaid Akbari, Noor Ali Zadran, Shahidullah Kamal, Afsar Zazai, Wafiullah Tarakhil, Karim Jannat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Nijat Masoud, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Qais Ahmad and Zahir Khan.
Reserves: Nangyal Kharoti, Mohammad Ibrahim and Allah Noor Nasiri.

ACB Chief Selector Asadullah Khan: “We are aiming to provide these players with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their abilities on the international stage. This Asian Games event is also a good opportunity for them to do well and further groove for the higher level cricket. Our buildup has already been started for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and we are working to prepare a strong group of players for that event.”

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World Cup 2023: Warm-ups, schedules and venues



(Last Updated On: September 20, 2023)

Australia and India will have to switch to World Cup mode just three days after they finish their ODI series next month in Rajkot when they take on Netherlands and England respectively in warm up matches on September 30.

Afghanistan will meanwhile face South Africa in their warm up match on September 29, the same day that Pakistan meets New Zealand and Bangladesh faces Sri Lanka.

India will travel to Guwahati for their first warm-up, while Australia will fly to Trivandrum for their match. Both these sides, along with Afghanistan and New Zealand have warm-ups scheduled in different cities.

The other six teams will all be stationed in one city for their warm-ups. Hyderabad plays host to Pakistan, while Guwahati hosts England, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The southern coastal town of Trivandrum will host Netherlands and South Africa.

India and Pakistan will round off the tournament’s warm-ups by playing Netherlands and Australia respectively on the final day on October 3, before the teams disperse towards their respective venues for their tournament opener. All warm-up games are day-night fixtures that will commence at 2pm local time, with all 15 members of the playing squad permitted to play.

In a late development, ESPNcricket reported Wednesday afternoon that police in Hyderabad have expressed their inability to provide adequate security for the Pakistan-New Zealand warm up match due to festivals taking place there at the time.

The teams are scheduled to play a warm up match on September 29 but Hyderabad Cricket Association has taken the decision to let the game be played “behind closed doors” – or without spectators.

Observers say this will impact the fans who bought tickets for the match. There has been a question mark over this warm up match after Hyderabad police told the local association that it would struggle to meet the security demands put in place by the ICC for World Cup matches including the warm-ups.

This is because of two major religious festivals, which take place around the same date as the match and involve large crowd gatherings.

Hyderabad is one of three venues, along with Trivandrum and Guwahati, that will host the warm-up segment of the tournament, to be played between September 29 and October 3, before the tournament proper starts on October 5.

Once again Ariana Television Network (ATN) will bring all the fun directly into the homes of cricket fans across Afghanistan. In addition to broadcasting World Cup matches live daily, ATN will also broadcast the warm up matches live.

So with just days to go before this thrilling tournament gets underway, be sure to keep an eye on our website and social media platforms for all updates and broadcast schedules.

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