World Cup 2022 fever descends on Qatar as teams and fans start to arrive
With only two days to go before the start of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, football fever is clearly gripping the Gulf country, with restaurants, markets and shopping malls all rising to the occasion and decorating their establishments accordingly.
As fans and teams start descending on the country, restaurants are becoming packed and queues at checkouts in supermarkets are getting longer while World Cup branding has engulfed everything from office buildings to lamp posts and walls.
But for millions of fans around the world, Qatar is out of reach – well physically that is – and instead, they will tune in to watch their favorite teams take to the field on televisions.
Questions are already flying over whether this will finally be England’s year for success or will one of the heavyweights like Brazil or Argentina lift the World Cup?
At this stage it’s anyone’s game – a game, or rather tournament, not to be missed.
Thanks to Ariana Television Network, Afghan football fans will share in this extravaganza as matches will be broadcast live throughout the tournament.
All you have to do is tune in to Ariana Television to get the live coverage of one of the world’s greatest sporting events.
For the full broadcasting schedule CLICK HERE
Shadab Khan defends young blood after series loss against Afghanistan
After Sunday night’s T20I series loss to Afghanistan, Pakistan’s skipper Shadab Khan said the team included their “youngsters” as they thought they would play better than they did.
This came after Afghanistan beat Pakistan by seven wickets in the second T20I and took an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match series in Sharjah.
Speaking after the match, Shadab said that Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan will be welcomed when they return to the national team. The star duo has been rested for the ongoing three-match series against Afghanistan in Sharjah.
“People criticize Babar and Rizwan regardless of whether they perform or not. There is always a sword hanging over them of strike rate. As a nation, we wanted youngsters to come in international cricket, as they were performing in PSL (Pakistan Super League), so we thought they would play with a better strike rate,” Shadab said.
“But finally, our nation will realize that experience matters and our seniors didn’t get the respect they deserved considering their performances. So after this series, they will get a lot more respect from the media and the nation,” he added.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first in the second T20I on Sunday, March 26. After losing three wickets inside the first four overs the Men in Green posted a modest total of 130/6 in their 20 overs. Meanwhile, the Rashid Khan-led side chased down the target with one ball remaining, CricTracker reported.
“When you lose three wickets in powerplay, you lose 70 per cent of the games…the young players were nervous. They are playing for the first time for Pakistan, but we have to back them. Our motive for this series was to check out talented young players and we have to back them in the future,” Shadab said.
Earlier, on Friday, Afghanistan made history after beating Pakistan in the first T20I. It was Afghanistan’s first-ever victory over Pakistan in international cricket. The third and final T20I will be played on Monday, March 27.
Afghanistan makes history after beating Pakistan in T20I series
Afghanistan made history on Sunday night when they beat long-time rival Pakistan in their second successive T20I match in Sharjah to win the series.
Sunday’s match saw Afghanistan beat Pakistan by 7 wickets with one ball remaining.
This is the first time in Afghanistan’s cricketing history that they have beaten Pakistan in an international series and as fans back home and across the world erupted with joy after a nail-biting last two overs, congratulations started pouring in.
Afghanistan Cricket Board said it was a “momentous occasion for Afghanistan cricket!”
The board said in a tweet that the team had “created history by securing their first-ever T20I series win over traditional rivals Pakistan. It’s a triumph of grit, courage, and teamwork.”
Rashid Khan’s squad did indeed show grit, courage and teamwork and after winning the toss and opting to bat first, Pakistan faced an early blow from Fazalhaq Farooqi who dismissed Saim Ayub for a duck on the second ball of the innings.
He then trapped Abdullah Shafique LBW on the very next delivery to take Afghanistan to a dream start. Pakistan kept on losing wickets at regular intervals but Imad Wasim’s 64 not out off 57 and Shadab’s 32 off 25 took them to a respectable total.
Chasing a target of 131 runs, Afghanistan were calm and focused throughout the second innings but needing 30 runs off the last three overs, and 22 from the last two overs.
However Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi hit a six each off pace bowler Naseem Shah in the penultimate over to reduce the target to five runs. Zadran then hit the winning boundary off Zaman Khan’s last over to chase down the 131-run target with one ball to spare.
This was Afghanistan’s first bilateral T20I series against any of the top six teams — India, England, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
They have previously won a T20I series each against the West Indies and Bangladesh and five in five against Zimbabwe.
All eyes on Afghanistan as second T20I match looms
After Friday’s historic T20I win against Pakistan, Afghan fans are eagerly awaiting their team’s second match in the three-match series scheduled for Sunday.
The match will start at 8.30pm Kabul time and will take place at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE.
On Friday, the team’s captain Rashid Khan led his squad to a six wicket win against Pakistan – sealing their first ever win against the neighboring country in T20 International Cricket.
The third and last match between the two teams will be held on Monday, ACB said.
On Saturday, former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja, on his YouTube channel, slammed the team for their “lacklustre performance” against Afghanistan on Friday.
Pakistan fielded a relatively young side, with four debutants, as they have rested many of their senior players for the series. Raja said: “There is no problem with doing experiments but winning still remains your top priority. You can’t put up lacklustre performances, with so many mistakes, like these since it will give the world the impression that there is still room for improvement in our next best lot.” Raja said on his YouTube channel.
“There is a lot of talent in Pakistan but these players also need to make the necessary adjustments in accordance with the situation of the game,” he added.
Raja also suggested that Pakistan can include an additional spinner in the lineup for the remaining matches due to the slow pitch.
“If the pitch remains like this, I think it will be an exciting series. Now the pressure is on Pakistan and we have to see what they learn from this defeat,” he said.
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