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Rashid promises Afghanistan will bounce back from England defeat



(Last Updated On: October 23, 2022)

Star spinner Rashid Khan said Afghanistan would bounce back from their opening loss to England at the Twenty20 World Cup in Perth on Saturday after having shown “promising talent” in the five-wicket defeat.

England bowled out Afghanistan for a paltry 112 but the Afghan spin force led by Rashid dragged the opposition chase to the 19th over by taking five wickets.

“First game for the guys. A different environment for all the youngsters in the team. First time playing in Australia and the conditions, facing the bowlers with speeds of 150 plus, so a great learning for them,” the leg-spinner told AFP.

“But definitely we will come back. Some promising talent is there. We are going to be much improved in the upcoming games. Batting is the area we need to work on.”

Afghanistan will next play New Zealand on Wednesday in Melbourne.

Afghanistan’s batting fell flat with left-arm quick bowler Sam Curran becoming the first England bowler to take five wickets in a Twenty20 international.

Ben Stokes and Mark Wood, whose express pace exceeded 150kph at times, took two wickets each as Afghanistan were all out in 19.4 overs.

Rashid returned impressive figures of 1-17 in his four overs and was ably supported by fellow spinners Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman as they looked to restrict England, one of the tournament favorites.

Mujeeb got Dawid Malan with his mystery spin and off-spinner Nabi bowled Stokes for two before Liam Livingstone took England home with an unbeaten 29 off 21 balls.

“The way we bowled it showed anything between 150-160 will be a good total for us,” Rashid said.

Afghanistan played two left-arm quick bowlers Fazalhaq Farooqui and Fareed Ahmed, but they rely on spin to win matches.

Rashid said he, Mujeeb and Nabi, would be able to benefit from their experience of playing in Australia’s Big Bash League.

“It’s just about the conditions you adjust yourself to. You understand what is the right length and right area to ball on that wicket,” said Rashid.

“We have five to six years of experience in the Big Bash. So we have that in the mind and need to keep it simple.”

Afghanistan stunned Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the Asia Cup T20 tournament in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.

They missed out on the final spot after losing a last-over thriller to Pakistan and Rashid said Afghanistan could beat anyone on their day.

“You don’t know with T20, what’s going to happen to any team. It’s not like someone is strong, someone is very weak. you have seen in the qualifiers that West Indies were knocked out,” said Rashid.

“Anything can happen, it’s just about having the positive mindset and having the self-belief that yes we are capable of beating any side.”


Ajay Jadeja named Afghan team’s mentor for Cricket World Cup



(Last Updated On: October 2, 2023)

Former Indian Captain and middle-order batter Ajay Jadeja has been appointed as mentor of Afghanistan’s team for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, it was announced Monday.

Jadeja played 15 test matches for India from 1992 to 2000, scoring 576 runs at 26.18 with 4 half-centuries to his name and a best of 96. He also represented India in 196 One Day Internationals (ODIs) during the same period, having scored 5,359 runs at 37.47 with 6 one hundreds and 30 fifties to his name in the format, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said in a statement.

He has also been part of 111 First Class and 291 List A games and has scored over 8,000 runs in each format with 31 hundreds and 88 fifties combined in both formats of the game.

Afghanistan team is currently in India for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. Their first match in the tournament will be against Bangladesh on October 7 in Dharamshala.

However, the team will face a warm up match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

Watch all warm up matches live

Ariana Television Network kicked off its live broadcast campaign of the ODI World Cup on Friday, September 29. Sadly, Afghanistan’s first warm up match – against South Africa – was rained out.

Tuesday’s warm up match 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’s broadcasts of warm up matches will start at 12:30pm on Tuesday and live streaming of the other matches will start at 1pm.

For the full warm up broadcast and streaming schedule see table below.

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Afghanistan A cricket team to tour Oman for white-ball series



(Last Updated On: October 2, 2023)

Afghanistan A team will tour Oman for a two-match One Day and a five-match T20I series from October 12 to 23 in Muscat, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced Monday.

The two one day matches are scheduled to be played on October 12 and 15, whereas the five T20I matches are slotted for the 17th, 18th, 20th, 21st, and 23rd of October in the Al Amerat Cricket Ground (Turf 1) in Muscat, Oman, ACB said in a statement.

Cricket boards of the two countries have taken the decision aimed at promoting the growth of cricket in both countries, and fostering long-term bilateral ties in the future, the statement said.

“It is a significant achievement for Afghanistan Cricket Board to have played a positive role in the growth and development of cricket in Afghanistan and to have maintained strong bilateral ties with other cricketing nations. We are committed to continuing efforts to expand and improve the game, and hope that all players will have the opportunity to showcase their skills and create good memories during this tour,” ACB CEO Naseeb Khan said.

“Oman remains our close cricketing friend country where cricket has been making significant progress, the same as the game progressed in Afghanistan. The upcoming tour between the two countries is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the two nations and promote the growth of cricket in both countries,” he added.

It is the first time that Oman hosts the Afghanistan A team.

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Olympic Council of Asia lauds Hangzhou Games’ unparalleled success



(Last Updated On: October 1, 2023)

The Olympic Council of Asia’s Acting President, Raja Randhir Singh, has applauded Hangzhou Asian Games’ smooth operation and likened the 19th Asian Games to Olympic standards.

Halfway through its 20-day run, the event has earned plaudits from the OCA for its record-breaking performances at sold-out venues, zealous public support and other successes, with credit given to organizers, venue operation staff and volunteers.

“Having seen many Olympic and Asian Games, from my experiences, this edition … has raised the bar. It is as good as—if not even better than—the Olympic Games,” Singh said, after visiting the Asian Games Museum on its opening day on Thursday.

The world-class facilities, especially the Games Village, and the diverse programs have laid a solid foundation for this sports gala to, in some ways, match next year’s Paris Olympics, Singh said.

“The athletes love the Village,” said Singh, who represented India in shooting at six consecutive Olympics from 1964 to 1984 and at four Asiads from 1978 to 1994.

“I’ve stayed in villages many times when I was competing. And there’s never been a village like this beautiful project. You can’t ask for more. All the National Olympic Committees and all athletes are so happy and satisfied.

“I think we are definitely not in any way behind what Paris will be doing for the Olympics. Our infrastructure in Hangzhou is as good, or maybe even better.”

Singh added that the host’s warm reception, as an embodiment of Asian culture’s friendliness, will ensure Hangzhou Asian Games remain a lifelong memory for all international participants.

“That sends a message to all the people who come to the Games, watch the Games and cover the Games,” he said. “They will experience the hospitality and welcome that you only have in Asia.”

The Hangzhou Asian Games’ program features a record number of 481 medal events, including non-Olympic sports that are popular in certain regions. The 12,417 athletes exceed the number at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and are expected to likewise surpass the figure at Paris 2024.

But while representing all the continent’s 45 NOCs as a statement of unity, the massive scale of the 19th Asian Games has raised concerns over the organizational pressure and financial burden for future hosts.

Singh reiterated that the tradition of including regional sports will continue to be honored, but the Games’ scale should be kept in check.

“We try to keep the main size of the Asian Games controllable. It should not be too much,” said the 76-year-old administrator.

Although athletes and coaches of such non-Olympic sports as cricket enjoy sensational followings in their respective regional markets, they hailed the Asiad as a much-needed platform to gain global exposure.

“It is a very good sign for the Asian Games to bring cricket in,” said Mohtashim Rasheed, coach of Pakistan’s women’s cricket team.

Oshadi Ranasinghe, a veteran of Sri Lanka’s women’s cricket team, which won silver in Hangzhou, said: “We can popularize the sport better and promote it to other Asian countries (and regions). It’s a great thing.”

According to official stats, multiple world records have been broken with more records expected to fall in the coming days.

“The standard is getting higher. Asian sports are coming up very fast,” Singh said. “Initially, it was Japan and (the Republic of) Korea. Then, the rise of China. Now, other countries (and regions) are coming up, as well.

“I think in another eight to 10 years, you will see Asians … on top in many sports.”

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