6/21/2019 5:39:47 PM (GMT+3)

Afghanistan: A team of fragmented egos and lost pride

Afghanistan: A team of fragmented egos and lost pride

DOHA: Afghanistan has completely failed to live up the imaginations of the cricket-lovers after their excellent run in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers and Asia Cup last year.

The Afghans have so far lost five in as many matches and are rooted at the bottom of the 10-team table. There's little hope of a revival in their performance when they take on one of the title-contenders India at Southampton on Saturday.

There’re rumours that the team, now divided into groups, were involved in a late-night altercation that saw police summoned at a Manchester restaurant last Monday.

Meanwhile, team coach and former West Indies all-rounder Phil Simmons promised to lift the lid on the reasons behind the dismal campaign.

“I am in the middle of a World Cup and trying to get our team to perform to the level we expect,” Simmons, who is standing down as Afghanistan coach at the end of the tournament, wrote on Twitter.

“But at the end of the World Cup I will tell the Afghanistan people about the part that Mr Dawlat Ahmadzai had to play in our preparation and his part in the dismissal of #AsgharAfghan.”

Asghar Afghan, who had led the side in all the three formats before the World Cup, was replaced as team captain in all three formats in April, with Gulbadin Naib picked to skipper the side at the World Cup. The decision seemed to have had an effect on the side, which hasn’t shown the kind of fighting spirit they are known of.

Inconsistent bowling and dropped chances in the field cost them dearly against England, as they were set a daunting target of 398 by the hosts. The batsmen, having batted for the full 50-overs at Old Trafford, will have to do so again, in order to pose any challenge to a strong Indian side.