DUBAI (Reuters) – Afghanistan players are not fretting over what the future may hold for the team and are instead pre-occupied with the task of making the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup, spinner Rashid Khan said on Thursday.
The governing International Cricket Council (ICC) will meet next month to discuss the game’s future in the south Asian country under the Taliban rule.
Cricket Australia has threatened to postpone next month’s one-off test against Afghanistan in Hobart if the Taliban government, which took power in August, did not allow women and girls to play the sport.
“To be honest, at the moment, we don’t have anything in mind,” Rashid, Afghan cricket’s brightest star, said ahead of Friday’s Super 12 Group II match against Pakistan.
“We have only this thing in the mind that we’re here for the World Cup and we’re playing five games and we need to win three games.
“No, we don’t think about what’s happening in the future. We don’t think about what happened in the past. That is something which is not in our hands, that is not in our control…”
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has requested the support of other full members of the ICC ahead of the board meeting soon after the World Cup.
Mohammad Nabi’s team thumped Scotland in their opener and the players know their performance could lift the pall of gloom back home.
“What is in our hand is to play the five games of this group stage and try to qualify to the semi-finals and make the country proud,” Rashid said.
“…what’s going to happen in the future, that will come with time,” added the 23-year-old, one of franchise cricket’s most sought-after players.
“If we have so many things on our mind, that might affect our performance, and the fans will be upset when you don’t perform as a team.”
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Dubai; editing by Christian Radnedge)