Afghanistan is going to achieve another milestone by playing their first ever test match against India tomorrow at Bangalore. This is their wonderful achievement to get the test status within 20 years of international debut in 2001. This country was prone to destruction due to continuous wars but managed to play the great cricket despite scary situations.
The captain of Afghanistan, Asghar Stanikzai said that “It’s a great moment for us as we embark on our Test journey,”
“To be competing against the best on the Test rankings table is something to be proud of and we will try to do our best in whatever chances we get and exhibit the skills the players possess individually as well as collectively as a team.”
He was one of the members of the Afghanistan team which was playing ODIS since 2009. Afghanistan got the recognition from ICC in 2001.
Afghanistan team got to learn cricket in refugee camps based at Pakistan in 1980-1990s due to war conflicts. Afghanistan is badly reliant on spinners like Mujeeb Zadran, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Nabi, and Hamza Kotak. Rashid Khan played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2018 and achieved the rare record of 100 wickets at a very young age.
The captain of Afghanistan, Stanikzai believes that they have better spinners than India. But they cannot ignore the fact that they are playing the team that includes Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Rashid Khan earned $1.4 million to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad. He is one of the World’s top spinners and topped the ICC T20 rating list.
Speaking about his spinners, Stanikzai said that “In my opinion we have better spinners than India.”
They are familiar to the Indian conditions since 2015 as they took training in India due to insecure conditions at Afghanistan. Rashid Khan’s home city Jalalabad faced terror attacks during a cricket match last month.
The cricket chief of Afghanistan, Atif Mashal said “Cricket has been a source of happiness and pride for all Afghans,”
“These attacks are against peace, unity, and humanity.”
Rashid Khan won over the hazards of war scars to become the world class spinners. He said that their parents prohibited them from playing the cricket outside the home due to constant terror attacks. In this context, he commented “The terror in our home area meant we did not have access to an education while growing up. My parents even forbid my siblings and I to play cricket outside our home,”
“But no amount of war stopped me from sneaking out to play cricket with my brothers.” He added.
Indian cricketer Karun Nair, known for his triple century against England in 2016 was doubtful about accepting Stanikzai’s comments on Indian players. He said “I think that’s a pretty big statement to make considering they haven’t played Test cricket,”
“All of our spinners are proven wicket-takers so there is nothing much to say on that.” He added.
On the other hand, India is going to play this historical test under the leadership of Ajinkya Rahane in the absence of regular captain, Virat Kohli.