Southampton: Afghanistan cricket is in a soup. Not only did they crash to a 150 runs defeat to England at Old Trafford on Tuesday, but their team also got involved in an altercation at a curry-house restaurant in Manchester on Monday night.
The altercation happened when some fans started taking their videos to which the players objected, and finally police had to be called in at 11.30pm.
Before the England match it was their batting that was in trouble. But when their batting clicked, their bowling and fielding failed. This team, which at one point was even considered as the dark horses, are now having a dark tournament hitting the bottom of the table. Their best bowler Rashid Khan was hit for 110 runs in nine overs!
Fans are mocking at the team saying that since their batsmen could not score a century, Khan decided to reach the 100 run mark through his bowling. After their defeat, Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib had a tough time answering queries on what went wrong with Khan. “Rashid is one of the best spinners now. He's a star player. But yes, it happens for any player, not only Rashid. Everyone knows how good Rashid is. I think today was not his day. In cricket, sometimes you do well, sometimes you dont click. But I'm happy with him....it's not a big deal.”
So has nothing bothered the captain after the defeat? “I think the bowlers did well during the first 30 overs. But then, every bowler, not only Rashid (went for runs), and we dropped one catch of Morgan, I think when he was on 15 or 17 runs. So, if he had got out at that time, maybe they wouldn't have scored like this. They (England) are a big side, so they didn't give a single chance.”
Meanwhile, their star opener Mohammad Shahzad, who was declared unfit for the rest of the tournament due to a knee injury, has come out with a medical advice that he would have been fit to play with a few days’ rest.
Naib found it difficult defending questions on the restaurant incident and said that he does not know anything about it and that their security officer would be able to respond. “I don’t know anything and it's not a big issue for the team or for me.”
Despite the defeat, the skipper believes in taking a number of positives from the match. “Today we played all 50 overs. So I think it's a positive sign. But we missed Morgan’s catch and we lost the game from there. So I think credit goes to Morgan, especially, for his batting. He showed his class. I've never seen this kind of batting. We hope to improve every day in every department. ”
With regards the bowling, he was optimistic about Rashid, and said he would come strong in their next matches.