ICC World Cup 2019: Biggest game-changer for Afghanistan
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 begins within 100 days and the teams have already narrowed down on the best possible team they are going to take to the World Cup in England and Wales. The memories from the previous World Cup of 2015 are still very fresh and seems just a few days back that Australia lifted that trophy.
As of now, India and England are the favorites to win that cup, but one never knows. There are teams like Australia, South Africa and Pakistan who could also have their chances. Not to forget the Black-caps, the runner-ups of the last World Cup as they could also be a threat.
As for the other teams, there are 4 others and Afghanistan is one among them and it is a team that will be playing only its second World Cup. Here is a look at the biggest game-changer in the Afghanistan dressing room, who will have a big role to play in how far this team goes.
Afghanistan will be featuring in only the second World Cup of its cricketing history. This team has made big strides in international cricket since the last World Cup. They are playing some good quality cricket which can be termed as exceptional for a team that has just come into the limelight. Owing to their good performances, they were given the test playing nation's status last year. Though there is very little hope of them even qualifying for the knock-outs, it is definitely a team that has a promising future.
For Afghanistan, there is an undisputed poster boy and hero of the nation. Rashid Khan, the young leggie who plays T20 leagues around the world and the player who has made Afghanistan so known and famous around the globe. He will hold key to the chances of the Afghanistan cricket team.
Rashid Khan has some impeccable stats that he can boast of. He has taken 116 wickets till date in just 51 ODI matches, at an astounding average of just over 14. He has been proving his worth time and again for his nation.
These numbers justify his no.2 ranking as a bowler in ODI. And Rashid Khan is not just a bowler, he is an all-rounder as his batting skills are also very good. He is currently the no.1 all-rounder in ODIs. In short, he is an absolute asset for Afghanistan cricket.
However, it is only the second World Cup for Afghanistan and they will have to fight very hard to go anywhere near that trophy. And to fancy their chances at the World Cup, they will have to pull off some upsets.
Whatever they do, one thing is certain: Rashid Khan will have a major role to play in managing to pull off those upsets against big and established cricketing nations.