The newly appointed Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi has acknowledged that leading the team in the T20 International Cup will be a tough job. However, he was confident of his team doing well in the showpiece event. Nabi was handed the leadership reigns after Rashid Khan stepped down from his post alleging that Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) didn’t ask for his inputs before announcing the squad for the multinational tournament.
“Yeah, it’s [captaincy] a tough job at the end, I will try my best to lead the team in the World Cup and perform well in the tournament. [I am] really excited to play as a captain in this event,” Nabi said in a conference call with the media ahead of the event starting on October 17.
Afghanistan cricket has been in a mess ever since the Taliban swept to power. Amidst the uncertainty regarding the future of sport in the country, their series against Pakistan was cancelled. Pakistan series would have served Afghanistan a platform to fix their jigsaw ahead of the mega event. The cancellation of the series means that Afghanistan head into the T20 Cup with no cricket since March earlier this year. Nabi revealed the team couldn’t arrive in UAE earlier due to visa issues but added they were practising in Qatar, which has similar conditions as UAE.
“The team is brilliant and they are preparing from the last one and half month, and there was little-bit [of] struggle on visas, so didn’t arrive in UAE early, they were practising in Qatar,” Nabi said. “They [the players] adjust with the weather, Qatar and UAE weather are all [almost] the same. We will try our best to perform well in the tournament…and go until the end,” added the right-handed batter and off-break bowler.
Afghanistan are being deemed as dark horses for the tournament. The team has done well in conditions like in UAE and could pose a threat to teams if players click together. They are clubbed with India, Pakistan, New Zealand and two qualifier teams in Group B and play their first game on October 25 against a yet to be announced team.
Afghanistan have a pretty impressive leadership group for the marquee event. They have Andy Flower as their batting consultant, Lance Klusener as head coach and Shaun Tait as bowling coach.