“That’s the dream of everyone back home” - Rashid Khan confident of Afghanistan winning T20 World Cup in near future

Rashid Khan during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Pic: Getty Images
Rashid Khan during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Pic: Getty Images

Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan has expressed confidence that the young cricketing nation can win the T20 World Cup a few years down the line.

Afghanistan made their ICC debut at the 2010 T20 World Cup in the West Indies. Rashid Khan played in the ICC event for the first time in 2016, when the tournament was held in India.

In just a little over a decade, Afghanistan have made impressive progress in the T20 format. In fact, they qualified for the Super 12 round and are placed in the same T20 World Cup group as Pakistan, India and New Zealand.

Check out the T20 World Cup winners list here.

In a video shared on ICC’s official website, Rashid Khan asserted that Afghanistan’s dream of winning the T20 World Cup in the future is a realistic one.

The 23-year-old stated:

“We have that target in the future that one day we have the ability to win the World Cup, especially the T20 World Cup. That’s the focus of everyone back home. That’s the dream of everyone, that’s the target of every player and we are capable of achieving that target. We have that belief in our skills and ourselves, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to achieve that target in the future.”

Rashid Khan is proud of his country’s rapid rise in international cricket, which saw them achieve Test status in 2018. The leggie added:

“We have achieved a lot over the last 10 years as a team. Where we came from, where we had no facilities, we came from that stage and we’ve played lots of World Cups. It’s a dream of every country to be called a Test team and we’ve got that as well, we’ve played Test games. We have achieved a lot."
“That’s the dream of everyone, that’s the target of every player and we are capable of achieving that target.”@rashidkhan_19 on @ACBofficials’ lofty #T20WorldCup dreams 👇

Even as Afghanistan are preparing for the T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman, the country is currently grappling with the Taliban takeover. Rashid Khan was among those who expressed fears for the nation’s future.

Rashid Khan predicts Afghanistan’s future stars

Most wickets in T20s since 2020106 Rashid Khan84 Shaheen Afridi82 Haris Rauf79 Mustafizur Rahman67 Wahab Riaz#NT20Cup

Although still very young, Rashid Khan is already among Afghanistan’s most experienced cricketers. He has played 51 T20Is for the country and has claimed 95 scalps at an amazing strike rate of 12.10. In his overall T20 career, the 23-year-old has 387 wickets from 280 games.

Asked to name who, according to him, could be a future star from Afghanistan, Rashid Khan named 16-year-old wrist-spinner Noor Ahmad. He predicted:

“He is someone who can deliver well in the future for Afghanistan.”

Ahmad took seven wickets at the last ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup held in 2020 in South Africa.

Among players from the current squad, Rashid Khan rated Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai as highly talented performers. He said:

“These two are really destructive batsmen. If they look after themselves well, then they have that kind of self-belief that they can play at any stage and they can play some massive, massive innings.”
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Afghanistan's T20 World Cup campaign begins on October 25 in Sharjah when they take on one of the teams from the qualifying round.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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