Members of the national cricket team said they are fully prepared to win the match against Pakistan.
Afghanistan U19s All Set To Face Pakistan In Cricket Match
Afghanistan National Under-19 Cricket Team will face Pakistan in the opening match of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) U19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand on Saturday at 2:30am Kabul time.
The Afghan team left the country for New Zealand one month ago to prepare for the event.
“We came here nearly one month ago and we have conducted good practices here in New Zealand. We tried to get used to the New Zealand’s environment and we are fully prepared,” Tariq Stanikzai member of the national team said.
“We played four friendly matches in New Zealand and defeated Bangladesh. This shows that we are prepared to achieve a good position in the competitions,” Bahir Mahbob member of the national team said.
Afghanistan had also made an impression in the 2016 World Cup where they won the plate final. The National Cricket Team Leg-spinner Rashid Khan was one of the key members of that squad and is now one of the leading spinners of the world in ODIs and T20Is.
The 11th edition of the Under-19 World Cup will be played across seven venues in four cities - Whangarei, Tauranga, Christchurch and Queenstown - over 22 days. This is the third time the tournament is being held in New Zealand, after 2002 and 2010.
Afghanistan has been placed in D group where it will compete with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Ireland.
Pakistan have been one of the better sides in the U19 Cricket World Cup over the years.
They are the only ones to have won back-to-back titles, in 2004 and 2006, and have also finished runners-up on three other occasions. In the last edition, they lost to eventual champions the West Indies in the quarterfinals.
Pakistan could face a stiff challenge from Afghanistan after having lost to them in the final of the U19 Asia Cup.
But the player to watch in this group could be 16-year-old off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran, who not only grabbed five for 13 against Pakistan in that final, but also made a sensational entry into senior international cricket grabbing four for 24 against Ireland in Sharjah for a player of the match debut.