The tensions back home have not left the Afghanistan national team alone, even as they are competing in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and playing tremendous cricket.
The team is being constantly bombarded with questions about the conditions back home and what they plan on doing in the future. A similar question was put before Afghan skipper Mohammad Nabi after his side lost a match to Pakistan by five wickets on Friday.
A reporter asked Nabi whether his team feared the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan would question them once they get back to the country.
“Afghanistan have played very well and they have won two matches. Is there any kind of fear that when you return home, you will be questioned as the government and situation have changed? In this new era, Afghanistan shares a healthy relation with Pakistan. Do you feel that the Afghan team will be strengthened because of this?” the journalist asked the skipper.
Baffled at the journalist’s question, the skipper asked him to adopt a different line of questioning — and stick to questions related to cricket.
“Can we talk about cricket leaving aside the situation? It would be better if we talk about cricket. We are here for the World Cup after undergoing proper preparations. You may ask any questions related to cricket,” Nabi responded.
The press conference’s moderator intervened and ask the reporter to stick to questions related to cricket.
At this, the journalist said he was asking cricket-related questions. Responding to the reporter, Nabi said his questions were not cricket-related.
Asif Ali once again rose to the occasion, walking out in the middle of a high-pressure situation and hitting four sixes to ensure Pakistan won their T20I clash against Afghanistan.
Pakistan were struggling to find their feet after wicketkeeper-batsman and opener Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez, and Fakhar Zaman were dismissed by Afghanistan spinners Rashid Khan, Mujeeb, and Nabi.
Pakistan needed 148 runs to win their third T20 World Cup clash against Afghanistan and qualify for the semi-finals.
Skipper Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman had formed a solid partnership before Nabi dismissed the left-handed batsman, trapping him lbw.
Babar Azam scored another half-century to ease some pressure off Pakistan. However, the Pakistani skipper was later dismissed by Rashid Khan.
However, Rashid Khan deceived him for the second time in the same over, this time bowling him out.
He was not Rashid Khan’s first wicket, though.
Mohammad Hafeez never looked settled on the crease and an economic over by Rashid Khan put him further under pressure. The Afghan spinner dismissed Hafeez as he attempted to hit him out of the park, caught instead by Gulbadin.