Afghanistan committed to achieving ICC Cricket World Cup qualification
Feb.14 (CRICKETNMORE) - Afghanistan are in a confident mood and fully focused on qualifying for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 for the entire Afghan nation, which will be right behind them during the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018.
Afghanistan, along with Ireland, the Windies and Zimbabwe, have got a second chance to qualify for the ICC’s pinnacle 50-over tournament after they finished in the bottom four of the ICC ODI Rankings at the 30 September 2017 cut-off date.
Afghanistan have only once participated in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (known as the ICC Trophy until 2005) which was in 2009. In 2014, they qualified directly to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 after finishing in the top two of the ICC World Cricket League Championship.
In the 2009 qualifier in South Africa, Afghanistan had finished ahead of Scotland in sixth position after they won six matches and lost four.
Rashid Khan, who has been enhancing his reputation with outstanding performances for his national team and in domestic league competition around the world, is looking forward to representing Afghanistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
“It feels good to play and represent the Afghanistan cricket team in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier; we are fully ready for it and hopefully do our best to deliver,” said the 19-year-old wrist spinner.
Rashid, who made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo in 2015, will be playing in his first ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier. “It is a big tournament for us, we have worked really hard for it, and hopefully we achieve our aim to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. It would mean a lot to me as it is my dream to play in an ICC Cricket World Cup for my nation.”
Captain Asghar Stanikzai, who also played in the 2009 edition and scored 214 runs in nine matches, will be looking to lead his team to their second ICC Cricket World Cup.
“The ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier is very important for us. We have great confidence, and have been working hard in the last two to three months, especially on our batting. We have also played a lot of matches which can only help.
“It means a lot to Afghanistan, all the Afghan people want is to see their team in the Cricket World Cup, so we will do our best to get there,” said the 30-year-old.
Afghanistan is presently busy in a five-ODI series against Zimbabwe and have two more crucial preparation matches remaining, which will be played on 16 and 19 February in Sharjah. After leading 2-1, they have moved ahead of Zimbabwe in 10th position and will need to win the series to finish in this position.
Afghanistan’s fixtures in ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018