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After winless in World Cup, Rashid sets eyes on 2020

After winless in World Cup, Rashid sets eyes on 2020

Jul 21, 2019 - 16:06

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Following Afghanistaninfo-icon’s performance in the ICC Worldinfo-icon Cup, new captain Rashid Khan has identified fitness and preparation as the two most important areas where work is needed.

Losing all nine of their matches in the round-robin, Afghanistan finished their campaign winless. They came close to defeating India and Pakistaninfo-icon, but couldn’t sustain their excellence and ended up conceding those games.

The performance was a bit of a surprise, given how well they had competed in last year’s 50-over Asia Cup, where they beat Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, came close to beating Pakistan, and held India to a tie.

Rashid said they need to be more prepared, game-wise as well as mentally, to deal with such situations in the future.

“From here, we have to take steps,” Rashid told ESPNcricinfo. “We have seen the World Cup, we have seen the oppositions and what should be the proper preparation for them, and we have to be very strong mentally.”

He continued: “We have to be fully fit for such competitions and we have to be well-prepared. We are not playing with Associate teams right now, we are playing with the Full Members, so we have to be well-planned and prepared.” 

For Rashid Khan, the most important thing is fitness. “We have to be very fit. These are the things we need to improve on in upcoming years to be a better side, a side that can beat any team. We have the talent, we have the skills. We just need to bring improvement in that.”

Rashid also said that players coming into international cricket should be fully prepared skill-wise and recognised that the next World Cup, in 2023 in India, would be just as big of a challenge and said that being aware of what they need to bring to the table against top-flight opposition would be an important step towards improving Afghanistan's performance next time around.

But the next World Cup is four years away. In the more immediate future, Afghanistan have the ICC T20 World Cup, which takes place in Australia next year, to look forward to.

“That [2023 World Cup] is something that is a very big challenge for us. As I said, we have the skills and talent, but we need to improve. We need to know how to play against the big teams and what should be the proper preparation against them,” Rashid said. 




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