Afghans shun media interactions to focus on game

The spinners — Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Zahir Khan — bowled continuously at the nets on Tuesday; the batsmen faced the local net bowlers to get a hang of the Bengaluru surface.

Afghanistan skipper Asghar Stanikzai (extreme right) and Mohammad Nabi (centre) at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Monday.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

 

The last couple of weeks have been quite busy for Afghanistan cricket. As the team defeated Bangladesh in a three-match T20 series in Dehradun, the players found themselves featured on almost every Indian media platform.

With the nation set to play it’s first-ever Test against India at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here from Thursday, the Afghan players realised they had enough media attention. While its spin sensation, Rashid Khan, said that he was looking forward to better his game, skipper Asghar Stanikzai went a step ahead claiming that his team has better spinners than India. That, obviously, made headlines.

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But for the last two days, the Afghanistan team management has requested the players to ‘try and stay away’ from media activities, and focus on the game. While the Indian team has decided to address the media before its training session, the Afghans have no such interactions planned. “There is lot of media demand in India and everyone wants individual interview, now, we cannot affect our practice time. We have given most time to media. But this the last moment and we need to focus on our game and plan our strategies. This is most important for us,” Shir Agha Hamkar, the team manager, told Sportstar on Tuesday.

Even the coaches and support staff have decided to switch the focus to the historic match. As the cricketers sweated it out at the nets, the support staff — led by chief coach, Phil Simmons — took special care of every player.

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The spinners — Rashid, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Zahir Khan — bowled continuously. The batsmen faced the local net bowlers to get a hang of the Bengaluru surface.

The visiting side has pulled up its socks to ensure that the focus is not lost. Interviews can wait!