Dehradun (Uttarakhand), March 19: Trailblazing bowler Rashid Khan said Afghanistan will fear no one when the World Cup starts in May after a maiden Test win enhanced the reputation of the rising cricket nation.
Khan, who is one of the world’s leading bowlers in short-form cricket, said Afghanistan’s confidence was growing after beating Ireland on Monday in just their second Test match.
The 20-year-old leg-spinner, who tops the world Twenty20 bowling rankings and lies third in the 50-over standings, took five for 82 as Afghanistan beat their fellow Test newcomers in Dehradun.
Before an expected starring role for Sunrisers Hyderabad when the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) begins at the weekend, Khan said Aghanistan’s cricketers now need only to believe in themselves.
“We have the talent and we have the skills,” he told AFP in an interview.
At last year’s Asia Cup, Afghanistan made a breakthrough by topping their group in the 50-over competition ahead of established Test nations Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
‘Believe in your skills’
“How we played in the Asia Cup was totally different and we showed that we can beat any side,” said Khan, whose side even tied a match with heavyweights India in the last-four stage.
“The only thing is to believe in your skills. Just to be relaxed in big matches and enjoy your game,” he said.
“And that’s how we should be in the World Cup.”
War-torn Afghanistan only gained one-day international (ODI) status in 2009 and Test status in 2017, but their recent rise has coincided with Khan’s emergence as a world-class spinner. (AFP)