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Afghans eagerly gear up to watch their team face off against Scotland in T20 World Cup match

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2021)

Amid all their concerns and economic woes, Afghans have something to look forward to on Monday night when their national team take on Scotland in the ICC World Cup T20 tournament in the UAE.

The national cricket team is scheduled to face Scotland in their first official match at about 6.30pm Kabul time.

For Afghans in the country, the match can be viewed live on Ariana TV, which has the rights to broadcast the tournament. For online viewers click here to watch the match.

Cricket fans across the country have high hopes that their team will do well – especially as Afghanistan is ranked number eight in T20 cricket – and many said Monday that a win would bring some much needed joy to the nation amid trying times.

“In these difficult and anxious days, our only joy is this sport and we support the Afghan national cricket team and we hope that our players can achieve a good result for Afghanistan in these competitions,” said Zabiullah Zadran, a resident of Paktia.

“It is sports and athletes who bring happiness to the people, and we are very happy that our national cricket team qualified for the World Cup.” said Khaibar Sharifi, a resident of Kabul.

“I urge all cricket fans to pray for the victory of the Afghan national cricket team in the World Cup. It is a great honor for Afghanistan and a very happy time, we are a very upset people,” said Hayatullah Durani, another Kabul resident.

Meanwhile, national cricket team players say they will put every effort into the match in order to secure a win for their countrymen.

Mohammad Nabi, captain of the Afghan team, says currently, cricket is collectively the only source of happiness for Afghans. Nabi added that the team is in good spirits and that Afghans back home are hoping for a win.

“Afghans all talk a lot about the team squad on social media, and Inshallah (God willing), the players will try to shine well, also the team’s morale is very good,” Nabi added.

“In this round of the World Cup, we promise our compatriots to play [well and] display best performances,” said Najibullah Zadran, a national cricket team player.

Afghanistan, which was an automatic qualifier, is in the second group with Scotland, Pakistan, Namibia, India and New Zealand.

Ariana Television Network has broadcasting rights of the T20 Cricket World Cup, which is being co-hosted by Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

This is the Afghan team’s third appearance at the T20 World Cup but won only two matches at the 2016 event. This year, the team is looking to win more matches and progress further in the competition.

Already last week, Afghanistan beat reigning World Cup holders West Indies in a warm up match.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE MATCH LIVE AT 6.30PM KABUL TIME

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Klusener to step down as Afghanistan’s cricket coach

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2021)

Former South Africa allrounder Lance Klusener will step down as the head coach of Afghanistan’s national cricket team when his contract expires on December 31.

Klusener, who was appointed in September 2019, said in a statement issued on Monday he will not renew his contract.

“Having spent two years with the team, I will take away some memorable moments with me,” he said.

“As I walk away from Afghanistan cricket team and its cricketing structure, I look forward to the next stage in my coaching career and opportunities it brings.”

Klusener took over as head coach from Andy Moles, who was serving in an interim capacity after the exit of Phil Simmons following the 2019 World Cup.

While Afghanistan hardly played any cricket in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team did reasonably well under Klusener, winning one out of the three Tests, three out of the six ODIs and nine out of 14 T20Is.

Considered one of the best South African all-rounders during his playing days (1996 to 2004), Klusener scored 1,906 runs and took 80 wickets in 49 Tests. He also scored 3,576 runs and got 192 wickets in 171 ODIs.

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Messi claims record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2021)

Argentina’s Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or award for the best player in the world for a record-stretching seventh time on Monday, beating Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho to lift soccer’s most prestigious trophy yet again, Reuters reported.

The forward added to his 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019 trophies after winning the Copa America for the first time with his country last July.

“It’s incredible to be here again. Two years ago I thought it was the last time. Winning the Copa America was key,” Messi said at Paris’s Theatre du Chatelet.

“It is a special year for me with this Copa America title. It meant a lot to win at the Maracana stadium and I was so happy to celebrate with the people from Argentina.

“I don’t know if it’s the best year of my life, I’ve had a long career, but it was a special one with the title with Argentina after the tough times and the criticism.”

Messi, who joined Paris St Germain on a free transfer from Barcelona during the close season after finishing as La Liga’s top scorer with the Spanish club, collected 613 points, with Bayern Munich’s Lewandowski, named best striker on Monday, getting 580.

Jorginho, who won the Champions League with Chelsea and the European championship with Italy, ended up third on 460, ahead of France’s Karim Benzema and Ngolo Kante in fourth and fifth places respectively.

Chelsea, named club of the year, also had keeper Edouard Mendy finishing second in the Yashin trophy behind Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma, read the report.

According to the women’s Ballon d’Or went to Alexia Putellas after the Spain midfielder guided Barcelona to Champions League glory.

“The key moment was the Champions League final against Olympique Lyonnais,” she said.

Putellas is the third winner of the Ballon d’Or Feminin after Ada Hegerberg in 2018 and Megan Rapinoe in 2019. There was no ceremony last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On a good night for Barcelona, the 19-year-old Pedri was awarded the Kopa trophy for the best Under-21 player, Reuters reported.

“The best way to celebrate turning 19 is receiving this award. I’d like to thank everyone at Barcelona for helping me here,” he said.

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ACB announces Afghan women’s cricket will remain intact

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(Last Updated On: November 24, 2021)

Mirwais Ashraf, the newly appointed Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) acting Chairman, said at a meeting with departmental managers that women will continue to play cricket as normal, the ACB said in a statement.

Mirwais Ashraf said that women’s cricket is one of the major requirements of the ICC and they are committed to meeting their obligations.

“Our girls will be playing cricket on the normal basis and we are looking to provide them with their basic needs and all the facilities they need,” he said.

He also said that the ICC requirements are valued by the ACB and they are doing their best to meet them.

He also said that they will work hard to arrange more games for the national teams with other cricket nations.

On internal issues, he said that they will work to solve the problems together. “Every employee must stay committed to the ACB and must strive hard to do well in their own parts”.

ACB’s CEO Naseeb Khan congratulated Mirwais Ashraf on his new post and said this appointment was a good move for the organization.

Naseeb Khan also pointed out they have had lots of effective meetings with various stakeholders in the UAE.

“We have had a productive meeting with the BCCI head Mr. Sourav Ganguly, and also have met officials from other cricketing nations to discuss a lot about having bilateral ties with them,”Khan added.

The departmental managers meanwhile welcomed the appointment of Mirwais Ashraf as the acting chairman of the ACB, assured him off their support and collaboration.

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