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Race for top ODI team ranking hots up ahead of World Cup



(Last Updated On: September 18, 2023)

Now that Asia Cup has wrapped up, the race to be the No.1 ranked ODI side at the start of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will intensify over the next few days as two of the top three teams go head to head in a bilateral series.

Pakistan held onto the No.1 spot at the end of Asia Cup 2023 despite their early exit and India’s thumping win over Sri Lanka in the final. Australia also squandered their chance to go on top of the rankings after their series loss to South Africa.

The Aussies were 2-0 ahead in the series before the hosts launched an impressive comeback and won three back-to-back games to complete a series victory on Sunday.

India’s loss to Bangladesh ahead of the final hurt their chances of going to the top of the rankings and even a record-breaking win, sealed in just over six overs, against Sri Lanka did not see them climb to the top.

Looking at the fixtures each side will play ahead of the start of the World Cup on October 5.

Current ranking: Third
Current rating: 113
Upcoming fixtures: India (September 22, September 24, September 27)

Australia are no longer in the box seat to be the No.1 ranked side at the start of the World Cup after the series loss to South Africa. They will need to whitewash India in the series to go into the World Cup as the No.1 ranked team.

However, if Australia start the series with two wins, they will go on top of the rankings until the final ODI at least.

Australia’s three-match series in India at the end of this month will then have a major say in who has the top ranking at the start of the World Cup.

Current ranking: Second
Current rating: 115 (114.659)
Upcoming fixtures: Australia (September 22, September 24, September 27)

India are in prime position to go to the top of the rankings if they can register a series win over Australia at home in the series starting on September 22. In fact, a win in the first ODI will see India upstage Pakistan to become the No.1 ranked team across all three formats of the game.

Rohit Sharma’s side are coming off a spectacular Asia Cup win and they could reach the No.1 position as early as Friday next week by defeating Australia in the first ODI in Mohali.

In a similar vein to Australia, India’s upcoming three-match series against Pat Cummins’ side may prove pivotal in deciding which team heads into the World Cup with the No.1 ranking.

If India avoid a whitewash but still lose the series to Australia, Pakistan will remain the top-ranked side for the World Cup. Conversely, a 3-0 loss to Australia will see India slip to third position and Australia go on top.

Current ranking: First
Current rating: 115 (114.889)
Upcoming fixtures: No matches prior to World Cup

Pakistan’s chances of obtaining the No.1 ranking at the start of the World Cup took a massive dent when they lost their final Super Four match at the Asia Cup to Sri Lanka.

With no official ODI matches scheduled for Pakistan prior to the start of the World Cup, their hopes of entering the tournament with the No.1 ranking will depend on how the India-Australia series goes.

They could still regain the top ranking if Australia and India continue to lose, but the fact these two teams are scheduled to play each other at the end of the month means one of them would then re-claim the premier position.


Afghanistan meanwhile will go into the World Cup ranked at No. 9.

The team was left disappointed after Sri Lanka’s two-run victory in the Asia Cup – which propelled Sri Lanka to the Super 4 stage – as it spelled the end of their tournament.

But close on the heels of this defeat, the team’s squad for the 2023 ODI World Cup was announced and one key change to the team is Naveen-ul-Haq who has been recalled after a long break.

Fast bowler Naveen last played an ODI in January 2021.
Now though, he will form a part of their pace attack along with Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman and allrounder Azmatullah Omarzai.

Omarzai, who suffered a side strain during Afghanistan’s ODI series against Pakistan in August, is back in the team after missing the Asia Cup.

Rashid Khan meanwhile will spearhead a strong spin attack that comprises Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Noor Ahmad.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah form their top order, with captain Hashmatullah Shahidi set to slot in at No. 4. Najibullah Zadran will also shore up the middle order.

Allrounders Gulbadin Naib and Sharafuddin Ashraf, who were part of Afghanistan’s Asia Cup squad, have been named as reserves, along with Fareed Ahmad who was part of the series against Pakistan.

Karim Janat and Mohammad Saleem are the two players from the Asia Cup who have been dropped altogether from Afghanistan’s World Cup squad.

Afghanistan will begin their World Cup campaign on October 7 against Bangladesh in Dharamsala. They have two warm-up fixtures before that, against South Africa in Thiruvananthapuram on September 29 and then against Sri Lanka in Guwahati on October 3.

Tune in to watch ICC Men’s World Cup 2023

While Asia Cup has wrapped up, fans can now prepare for the next thrilling tournament – the 2023 ODI World Cup. And as cricket fever continues to rise, fans across Afghanistan can rest assured that this thrilling sporting fiesta will also be broadcast live by Ariana Television Network (ATN).

The World Cup clashes will be broadcast live for the duration of the tournament, allowing fans to catch all the action.

Remember, the tournament is scheduled to take place in India from October 5, 2023 to November 19, 2023, culminating in the final match at the famous Narendra Modi Stadium.

ATN will publish all schedules and broadcasting times ahead of the matches and keep fans posted on new developments. So be sure to watch out for updates on our website and social media platforms.


Afghanistan-South Africa Cricket World Cup warm-up game washed out



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

Afghanistan’s Cricket World Cup warm-up game against South Africa was washed out Friday because of heavy rain.

Both teams were confined to their hotels before umpires called off the game at 3:45 p.m. because of steady rain and a wet outfield, the Associated Press reported.

South Africa is scheduled to play another warm-up game against New Zealand on Monday while Afghanistan will meet Sri Lanka on Tuesday. The World Cup begins in Ahmedabad on Thursday with the opening game between New Zealand and England.

In Guwahati, Sri Lanka opening batter Pathum Nissanka (68) and Dhananjaya de Silva (55) scored half centuries before the team got bowled out for 263 in 49.1 overs. Offspinners Mahedi Hasan (3-36) and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (1-32) tuned up for the mega event with impressive figures.

In Hyderabad, Mohammad Rizwan scored 103 and captain Babar Azam made 80 off 84 balls as Pakistan racked up 345-5 against New Zealand in another warm-up game that was briefly disrupted by rain.

Rizwan and Babar shared a 114-run stand after openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique couldn’t make their mark and were dismissed early. Left-handed batter Saud Shakeel staked his claim in the middle-order with 75 off 53 balls as Pakistan accelerated well in the end and made 107 runs in the last 10 overs.

New Zealand was led by Tom Latham because regular captain Kane Williamson will miss out on the opening World Cup game against England as he recovers from knee surgery.

Williamson will bat on Friday and is also expected to take the field and bat in the next warm-up game against South Africa.

Williamson injured his knee during the opening game of this year’s Indian Premier League and had surgery. He was with the team in England during the white-ball series while continuing his rehabilitation for the World Cup.

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ODI World Cup 2023: Warm-Up Match 2, Afghanistan vs South Africa



(Last Updated On: September 28, 2023)

Afghanistan and South Africa will lock horns in a warm up match on Friday, September 29, at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram in India, as both teams head into the eagerly anticipated ODI Cricket World Cup.

While Afghanistan recently wrapped up a forgettable Asia Cup campaign, South Africa won their most recent challenge, the five-match home series against Australia, 3-2.

Playing Friday at Greenfield, which generally favors batters, the toss-winning captain will likely choose to bowl first in order to have a clear target in sight.

For Afghanistan, the batter to watch out for will be Heinrich Klaasen. He was crucial for South Africa in the series against Australia, as he finished top scorer with 243 runs from five games. He is expected to carry forward his form in the upcoming match as well.

This will be only the second meeting between the two teams in an official ODI, their first face off coming in the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England. South Africa rolled Afghanistan for 125 in 24.1 overs.

South Africa will however be without their skipper on Friday as Temba Bavuma has returned home for family reasons and will miss all his team’s World Cup warm-up matches. Aiden Markram will assume the captaincy duties.

Cricket experts have said that while Afghanistan might not be Cricket World Cup contenders, they have the potential to beat many of the top teams because of their skillful spin bowlers.

The Asian heavyweights — host India and regional foe Pakistan — are the top two south Asian contenders for the semifinals, mainly because of experienced batters in their side. But both lack depth in their spin departments and could hardly match the spinners of at least Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Spin wizard Rashid Khan leads Afghanistan’s strong spin trio that also include other impact spinners — Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi — while left-arm spinner Noor Ahmad could also prove to be a surprise package.

Rashid’s experience of playing Indian Premier League should come in handy for Afghanistan and his wizardry on slow surfaces during the World Cup could turn the tables in Afghanistan’s favor.

Mujeeb and Nabi also could lend Rashid ideal support in the middle overs to stem the flow of runs. Afghanistan, which had direct qualification for the World Cup, also recalled fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq to its ODI team after two years.

Despite Afghanistan’s formidable bowling base, it could all come down to the Afghan batters and how well they support their bowlers.

South Africa meanwhile have traveled to India a lot lately, having played 11 white-ball games in India since the start of 2022. Because of this, they understand the conditions at the various grounds.

After Friday, Afghanistan will play Sri Lanka in their second and final warm up at Barsapara Cricket Stadium, in Guwahati on October 3.

Watch all warm up matches live

Ariana Television Network will kick off its live broadcast campaign of the ODI World Cup on Friday, September 29, with the Afghanistan vs South Africa warm up match.

Both Afghanistan’s warm up matches will be broadcast live, on Ariana Television, along with other key matches. However, the balance of matches will be streamed live on our website.

Ariana Television broadcasts of warm up matches will start at 12:30pm on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Live coverage of other matches, on the same days, will be streamed on our websites.

For the full warm up broadcast and streaming schedule CLICK HERE

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Naveen ul Haq set to retire from 50-overs format after Cricket World Cup



(Last Updated On: September 28, 2023)

Naveen ul Haq, who made a surprising return to Afghanistan’s ODI squad for the World Cup, has announced on social media that he would be retiring from the fifty-overs format at the end of the tournament in India.

Naveen had made a return after a two-year absence from the format in Afghanistan’s World Cup squad, and is still only 24 years old.

The pace bowler has played only seven ODIs but has become a pivotal part of the T20I setup since making his international debut in 2016.

“It has been an absolute honour to represent my country and I would like to announce my retirement from the ODI format at end of this World Cup and will continue to wear this blue jersey in T20 cricket for my country,” he said in his statement.

“It hasn’t been an easy decision to make but to prolong my playing career, I had to take this tough decision would like to thank the Afghanistan Cricket Board and all my fans for their support and unwavering love.”

Afghanistan had named a strong squad for the marquee tournament in India with Naveen’s return a major talking point. Aside from Naveen, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman and Omarzai form a strong pace attack for the team as they head to the World Cup.

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