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HomesportscricketInspires another generation to take up cricket: Afghanistan coach on Pak win

Inspires another generation to take up cricket: Afghanistan coach on Pak win

Chennai: The historic victory against Pakistan in the World Cup will inspire the next generation of Afghans to take up cricket, feels Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott.

Afghanistan notched up a memorable first-ever ODI win over Pakistan, prevailing by eight wickets, a little over a week after they stunned defending champions England.

“I think it just shows the amount of talent in the side for the country again, as when we were fortunate enough to beat England,” Trott said at the post-match press conference on Monday.

“It inspires another generation of players to pick up a cricket bat and a cricket ball, work on their fielding and their fitness.”

Afghanistan had come close to beating Pakistan a few times recently but never managed to cross the line.

“It doesn’t take a lot to see the passion and the rivalry between them. I’m just glad today we were in the game again, and we managed to get across the line.”

“Hopefully, will now have that self-belief that we can go on and trust our games and be very confident for the games coming forward.”

The 42-year-old, however, refused to call the wins against the two former champions ‘upsets’.

“Not sure I’d say upset if I’m honest. I think it’s a disservice to the guys in the changing room. I think maybe you’d say, when we go into a side, you say underdogs or whatever, but it’s not an upset.”

“We played well, these guys work hard, and they deserve to win. If we play good cricket. And for me, I think we’ve just got to make sure we keep playing good cricket and not get too far ahead of ourselves.”

The win against Pakistan has elevated Afghanistan, who were languishing at the bottom, to sixth on the points table. Trott feels that there is still room for improvement.

“We need to be more consistent in the things that we do. We know the areas we need to work on and those things that will help us have evenings like this and be more consistent and beat the big teams. But, every game that we go into this World Cup, we got a chance of winning it.”

Playing IPL helped Noor

Making his World Cup debut, 18-year-old wrist spinner Noor Ahmed picked up three wickets that included the crucial scalps of Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.

Trott feels that playing in pressure situations, in front of big crowds in the IPL has helped Noor, who plays for Gujarat Titans in the lucrative league.

“I thought we got it right with Noor today coming in and the way that he bowled, certainly for a youngster as well. The way that he bowled and started really well and then got a few wickets and a bit of momentum”, the coach said.

“Again, there’s always things we can work on but you know that’s what the likes of the IPL does for countries like Afghanistan. Exposes players from a young age to playing in front of big crowds and under pressure situations”, he said, adding, “I think he played in the IPL final, you know, and for a youngster of his age, you know, it’s an amazing experience for him. So, he can bring that experience to here and put in performances like he did.”

(Published 24 October 2023, 06:38 IST)

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