Afghanistan’s participation in the upcoming T20 World Cup has been questioned due to the current unrest in the country. It has been made clear, however, by the Afghanistan Cricket Board that the team will be ready for action once the showpiece event in Dubai begins.
The media manager of the Afghanistan cricket team, Hikmat Hassan, said there is no doubt that Afghanistan will be participating in the T20 World Cup, and that the cricket board is eager to go ahead with a tri-series with Australia and West Indies to help prepare for the marquee event.
“Yes, we will play in the T20 World Cup. The preparations are on and the available players will be back to training in Kabul in the next few days. We are looking for a venue for the tri-series involving Australia and West Indies and that will be the best preparation for the showpiece event. We are speaking to some countries like Sri Lanka and also, I think Malaysia. Let’s see how that pans out.”
“We are already set to play Pakistan in Hambantota and that series is also on. Also, we are planning to go ahead with the domestic T20 tournament which shall boost preparations for the players ahead of the T20 World Cup,” Hassan said.
When asked if the board officials had a word with Rashid Khan or Mohammad Nabi as they are not in the country at present, he said, “We are always there to help our players and their families. We will do whatever is possible for them. Things are not affected much in Kabul, we are already back in the office, so there is nothing to worry about.“
Regarding the upcoming T20 World Cup, West Indies, England, Australia, and South Africa will be in Group 1 of the Super 12s along with two other qualifiers from Round 1. These teams were chosen based on their team rankings as of March 20, 2021, and will be joined by two other teams from Round 1.
Former winners of the international tournament India and Pakistan will be in the second group along with New Zealand, Afghanistan and the other two round one qualifiers. Eight teams will compete in the first round, including automatic qualifiers Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, with the remaining six having qualified through the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019. Sri Lanka’s opponents in Group A are Ireland, the Netherlands, and Namibia; Bangladesh’s opponents in Group B are Oman, PNG, and Scotland.