Afghanistan handed a shock defeat to Sri Lanka in the 2022 Asia Cup opening match. They face Bangladesh next on Tuesday.
Ahead of the clash with Bangladesh in the Asia Cup 2022, Afghanistan’s star spinner Rashid Khan has said that despite participating in many leagues, playing for the national side always comes first for the players. Afghanistan will lock horns with Bangladesh on Tuesday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The side will be led by all-rounder Mohammad Nabi and sees one change from the 16-member squad that toured Ireland. Samiuallah Shinwari has replaced Sharafuddin Ashraf, who is now a part of the reserves. Spinner Noor Ahmed has also been added to the side.
“We want to play a lot of international cricket that gives youngsters the opportunity to play and get a chance. We all play different leagues but national duty comes first for your country. We want to focus on the next match and not think about the previous match. It is past. It is not in our hands that teams take us seriously or lightly,” Rashid Khan said in a pre-match press conference.
Afghanistan managed to restrict Sri Lanka to 105 and registered their second biggest win in T20I in terms of balls remaining. They will be flying high on the performances of their bowling unit, led by Fazalhaq Farooqi. The pacer was adjudged as the player of the match for his 3-wicket haul.
“Tomorrow’s conditions in Sharjah are different than what we faced in Dubai. We want to give 100 per cent and enjoy the game. I am not an all-rounder. A player who can bat and ball and can bat in different positions, then it is great,” he said.
“If you have such players like Hardik Pandya in the team then it gives the captain a lot of options. His hard work has paid off. Last year when I played with him, I think he has improved as a captain a lot in IPL. When a player gets such kind of responsibility then it makes him a better player,” he added.
He said the team prepares seriously irrespective of the opponent.
“We as players enjoy this kind of format. We are playing in Sharjah after a long time. We never think about any opposition whether it is weak or strong. Tomorrow if you play Hong Kong then the preparation is the same or if it is India then also it is the same,” Khan said.
Squad: Mohammad Nabi (c), Najibullah Zadran, Afsar Zazai, Azmatullah Omarzai, Farid Ahmad Malik, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Naveen ul Haq, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Rashid Khan and Samiullah Shinwari.