The match between Pakistan and Afghanistan on Saturday holds a rivalry of its own kind. Afghanistan beat Pakistan in the warm-up match prior to the World Cup. They haven’t done it in an official international match though, but are desperate to succeed against whom they consider their new equivalent opponents.
Afghanistan cricket team although has performed impressively well from last couple of years and ultimately qualified for the World Cup, however; Afghan officials have developed a kind of bitterness against Pakistan Cricket. It all revealed with a recent controversial statement given by none other than the interim CEO of Afghan Cricket Board, Asadullah Khan. His sarcastic remarks claim that Afghanistan is far better than Pakistan in Cricket and they are ready to offer technical support and coaching for betterment of Pakistan’s Cricket.
Pakistan has always helped Afghan cricketers by providing them the coaching, playing opportunities in the domestic setup and making available facilities and infrastructure for them. Most of the players in Afghan eleven have been developed and groomed in Pakistan. Pakistan has constantly shown sincere support and has been encouraging Afghan cricketers wholeheartedly. In contrast, the attitude of Afghanis has been inappreciative. Unfortunately, it’s a sad part of Afghani stance that has irked a sports confrontation between the two neighboring countries. Afghanistan has no history in Cricket; they are just beginners and disrespecting the real mentors like Pakistan is an unwelcome gesture by all means.
Meanwhile, in response to such an ironic expression, a befitting reply from Shoaib Akhtar came to balance the equation. The Rawalpindi Express tweeted a day after Afghan Cricket chief’s statement. He said, “Afghanistan Cricket chief will do a much better job in standup comedy because clearly his Cricket management is reflecting poorly on the ICC World Cup points table … A BIG ZERO”!
At a time when Afghanistan suffers at the bottom of points table, the chief of ACB should not make such irresponsible statements and rather look into their own affairs as Afghan Cricket Coach Phil Simmons is on the verge of exposing some of the serious errors found in Afghan Cricket Board’s current setup.