Rashid Khan thanks Afghanistan for prayer and support after World Cup qualification

26 March, 2018, 01:49 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Head-to-head in ODIs Ireland have won 9 of their 16 matches against Afghanistan

"It has to be put back into the game because if countries don't have a World Cup to look forward to or the possibility of getting to the World Cup; if they actually give that carrot, dangle it in front of countries, surely cricket is going to get better in those countries and actually expand".

The 10-team World Cup will be staged in England in 2019.

Afghanistan continued their giant strides in worldwide cricket by qualifying for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England with a thrilling five-wicket win against Ireland in the final Super Six encounter of qualifiers, here.

Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai said his side will head into next year's World Cup aiming to lift the trophy, after capping a remarkable recovery in qualifying by thrashing the West Indies in yesterday's final. The ten team tournament has gained criticism due to the lack of Associate teams in the tournament.

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When one remembers, however, that their opponents were the UAE, Papua New Guinea, Netherlands, and Ireland, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and Scotland, even remembering the West Indies record against Afghanistan, their most recent record against Zimbabwe, and that they lost to Ireland last time out, it was not so.

A president must, I suppose, talk the good talk, and a captain must try to keep the spirits of his players on up.

Both the Caribbean side and Afghanistan have already qualified for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, to be staged in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14, but the final of the ongoing qualifying event is expected to be another cut-throat match for a number of reasons. "That is good for cricket, says a lot about world cricket and the standard of cricket". For them to progress I think it's going to be harder.

It was Nepal who beat Hong Kong by five wickets at Bulawayo Athletic Club to send Afghanistan to the crucial phase of the tournament.

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Stanikzai struck four fours and a six in his undefeated 39 - including a four to finish the match in the final over - to see his team home.

Although Scotland could have lost the match, and probably would have lost it, the odds favoured them had the match been completed. Rovman Powell top-scored with 44 off 75 balls.

It was their third win over the West Indies in the past month, and was settled in emphatic style when Mohammed Nabi hit three balls in a row from Chris Gayle for six.

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