Afghanistan’s phoenix-like rise in the World Cup ended with a heartbreak as it went down to South Africa by five wickets in its last league stage fixture. But coach Jonathan Trott expects exciting times ahead for the young team.
Echoing sentiments of the captain Hashmatullah Shahidi, who batted for more ODIs and Tests going forward, Trott said, “There certainly are Test matches, and a few ODIs and T20Is. There is ambition to grow all three formats of the game, so that’s exciting.”
“And I think that’s brilliant that they’re able to play against other nations in the longer format of the game, the purest form as some people would say. That’s always a work in progress, so exciting times ahead…”
However, with no World Cup Super League, Afghanistan is no longer assured of a series against the so-called bigger teams. But then, Trott believes that the future is bright for the Afghans.
“The next progression is to have more of a squad with regards to more players. We’ve seen Noor (Ahmad) come in, or Fazalhaq Farooqi come in. And so, it’s for the first time really been able to sort of select a side depending on the conditions whereas before you’d normally have 11 and if you had one injury you’d sort of (struggle),” he said.
“But you’re seeing now that the emergence of the players, experience of franchise cricket and becoming very, very good players. So, there’s certainly a bigger pool I think than in the past to be able to select from, or certainly experienced players or well-known names to be able to call upon, like Naveen [ul-Haq] coming in and playing ODI cricket, and we saw the impact he very nearly got us a win against Australia with all the wickets in the new ball..”
In this tournament, Afghanistan defeated Pakistan and England and went on to win four games. “The future’s bright, it’s our job as a side and us as management, coaches to make sure we nurture that and make sure that we’re going in the right direction…”
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