Xtra Time Web Desk: Why is Afghanistan a force to reckon with T20 format? It has been just over a year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. The after effects on every aspect of life in the country has been drastic. But when it comes to sport, cricket is closely followed by the regime and continues to be a favorite past time of the Afghans. As was the scene last night at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium as thousands of Afghani supporters gathered to cheer their team against Bangladesh. And the likes of Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan did not disappoint them as they thrashed Bangladesh by 7 wickets to become the first team to seal a spot in Super 4 in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 tournament.
If you look closely at Afghanistan’s rise in stature in T20 format, there are multiple reasons. Fortunately, the current generation of Afghanistan cricketers boasts elite, global stars in the form of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman. The three are pretty much automatic picks for every T20 league in the world. In all, Rashid and Nabi have turned out in six different leagues for a total of 114 and 61 T20s respectively after the pandemic.
The Afghans are waiting to take the next step forward. The fact that they play a lot more T20 league cricket has helped them develop their skills. If you look at international cricket, mostly they play a lot many T20Is compared to other formats.
Afghanistan also have a good crop of young talented fast bowlers. The addition of Umar Gul as fast bowling coach has helped young talents like Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq . They also boast of powerful strikers of the ball like Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Najibullah Zadran. So, with most of the boxes’ ticked Afghanistan is waiting to take the world by storm as far as T20 cricket is concerned.