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T20 World Cup: ‘I can sleep better now’, says Rashid after Afghanistan’s historic win over Australia

Kingstown, June 23, 2024
Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan reckons he can sleep better now after his side beat Australia by 21 runs in their Super Eight game of T20 World Cup at the Arnos Vale Stadium on Sunday (as per IST).

In defence of 148, where Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran shared an opening stand of 118 runs, all-rounder Gulbadin Naib took 4-20, including taking out Glenn Maxwell, as Afghanistan bowled out Australia for 127 to get their first win over the opposition in international cricket and leave the race to semi-finals from Group 1 wide open.

“I think I can sleep better now. But that was a night which didn’t let me sleep. The game (in Mumbai during last year’s ODI World Cup, where Maxwell made 200) kept coming into my mind and it was 90 plus percent we were in the game.

“The way Maxi played that night took the game away from us and definitely I didn’t sleep whole night. I feel like tonight because of the happiness I won’t be able to sleep. That’s how happy the whole team and the whole country. It’s a massive win for us as a team, and nation.

“It’s not just like a bilateral game. It’s a World Cup game, and definitely in a World Cup, you’re beating a best side, which is a great achievement. Beating a team like that, who won 2021 T20 World Cup, it always gives you so much energy and doesn’t let you to sleep as well,” said Rashid in the post-match press conference.

He also felt fielding made a huge difference in outcome of the match going into Afghanistan’s favour, as Australia spilled many catching chances and gave away runs via misfields.

“It plays a massive role in the game. Either you play T20 or ODI, but fielding is something which is under the control, and for that, you have to put the effort in. Once you have that bad day in the fielding, it always keeps you away from the game.

“Especially in a short format, where you make those small mistakes, it’s pretty hard for you to come back. In ODI, yes, you have 50 overs where you can make a comeback. But to me, I think in T20, you don’t have any excuse.

“You don’t have any space where you can come back again into the game. Definitely, I think fielding play a crucial role as the batting and bowling. To me, batting and bowling is 25-25. 50% is something which is fielding. If you lose something in that, it does make you to a losing side,” he said.

Rashid signed off by saying Afghanistan emerging victorious against Australia will mean a lot to fans back home, who have been celebrating on the streets in various cities.

“It gives the people back home so much hope and especially to the young generation getting involved into the cricket and getting the attention into the sports and also for the nation – cricket is the only source of happiness back home.

“I feel like we are so lucky to be here giving those happiness to the people back home. We hardly see those kind of events back home where they could celebrate and enjoy those moments. But winning these big games in the World Cups gives them so much happiness. That’s something which really, really satisfy me.

“I don’t care about taking one wicket, two, three, five, or six wickets – but when I see those people having those smiles and celebration back home in every street of Afghanistan, that is something which gives me so much energy and also motivates me for the upcoming games, where I will be able to make them more proud. As a team we can make them more proud and give them more happiness,” he concluded.(Agency)

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