Afghanistan beat past winners England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in its Cricket World Cup dream run. Tuesday’s loss against Australia dashed their semi-final aspirations, but the extraordinary campaign of players from a war-weary nation whose government nobody recognises has captivated cricket fans.Afghanistan were ready to do another miracle at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.
Afghanistan’s World Cup 2023 run captivates cricket
Australia was in trouble against the young team, 11 of whom are under 25 and playing their third ODI World Cup. They had reduced the five-time world champions, chasing 292, to 91-7. However, the miracle shifted hands. Australia’s brave hitter Glenn Maxwell scored an undefeated double hundred despite cramps to win the match.
Before 2023, Afghanistan had only one World Cup win in two tournaments after qualifying in 2015. They have won four, including one apiece against defending champions England and past winners Pakistan, where some Afghan players entered the game as refugees.
After the Taliban took over in 2021, the squad plays under the flag and sings the anthem of the former Afghan republic, which is unusual. However, the Taliban government and Afghanistan Cricket Board credit the team.Afghanistan has performed marvels at the World Cup despite obstacles. Like Tuesday, when 21-year-old Ibrahim Zadran scored the first Afghan World Cup century hours after Sachin Tendulkar’s booster talk. Or when they upset England early in the competition.
Raees Ahmadzai, the team’s assistant coach and former Afghanistan captain, says the team’s fairy-tale run indicates they can beat any country on a good day.Consider the match against Pakistan, when Afghanistan chased 282 against a strong bowling attack. After an exciting start, Shahidi played steadily through the middle innings, keeping up with the run-rate without taking needless chances. Afghanistan beat them by 8 wickets.