Colin Munro: ‘Afghanistan could be dark horse at World Cup’

New Zealand batsman Colin Munro said that the Kiwis have a very good chance at the 2019 World Cup in England.

Munro praised Afghanistan's Rashid Khan saying the spinner "could turn the ball even on the state highway".   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Colin Munro may best be known for breaking records for the fastest hundred and fifty in Twenty20 internationals, but he averages 51.58 in First Class cricket with 28 scores above 50 from 48 matches.

The hard-hitting New Zealander has, however, given up the red ball and has decided to focus on the shorter formats. Now that he has made that decision, Munro is trying to play as much with white ball as he can. That is why he is here. He will be playing for Balkh Legends in the Afghanistan Premier League (APL).

“To give up First Class cricket was a tough decision and I have been thinking about it for the last couple of years,” Munro, who played for Delhi Daredevils in the last IPL, told The Hindu. “It wasn’t easy to give up 10 years of First Class cricket and about 50 matches, but I wasn’t getting the rewards I wanted.”

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He said he also wanted to focus more on next year’s World Cup. “I think New Zealand would play well in the conditions of England, where we have had successes in the past,” he said. “England, West Indies and India too have good chances in what I think will be a hotly contested World Cup, with all teams playing one another once.”

The Durban-born Munro feels Afghanistan could be a dark horse in England. “They have match-winners with both bat and ball, and they have shown what they could do at the recent Asia Cup,” he said. “I feel the APL would help their cricketers greatly. Rubbing shoulders with some of the best cricketers in the world will be beneficial for them.”

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He said he was impressed with a couple of young Afghan players that he has practiced with here already. “And they have already begun asking me questions,” he said. “And I will be happy if a couple of young Afghan cricketers gain something by working with players like me at the APL.”

He has a lot of respect Afghanistan’s big stars like Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Shahzad. “Rashid has been brilliant,” he said. “He could turn the ball even on the state highway.”

(The writer is in Sharjah at the invitation of DSPORT)

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