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Divergent Paths: Pakistan Vs Afghanistan Cricket Team



Lt Col Abrar Khan (Retd) is an experienced freelance writer based in Pakistan. He has served in the Pakistani military and now dedicates his time to writing on a range of topics. Khan’s work has been featured in several publications.

Written By: Lt Col Abrar Khan (Retd)
Freelance Writer | Pakistan

The Afghanistan cricket team has achieved a historic feat by reaching the semi-finals of the T20 WC 2024, which is currently being played in the USA. This remarkable performance is a testament to the team’s consistent progress and their ability to compete at the highest level of the sport.

A closer look at their stats in the tournament so far reveals the key factors behind their success:

Most RunsMost WicketsBest Bowling Figures
R. Gurbaz – 281 RunsF Farooqi – 16F Farooqi – 5/9
I Zardan – 229 RunsRashid Khan – 14
Naveen-ul-Haq – 13
Bowling AverageMost 50s5-Wicket Haul
Ghulam Nabi – 5.57R Gurbaz – 3F Farooqi – 1
I Zardan – 229 RunsI Zardan – 2
Most SixesMost FoursMost Boundaries
R Gurbaz – 16I Zardan – 25R Gurbaz – 34
I Zardan – 229 RunsR Gurbaz – 18I Zardan – 29

These statistics paint a picture of a well-rounded Afghanistan team, with standout performers in both batting and bowling. Players like Gurbaz, Zadran, Farooqi and the ever-reliable Rashid Khan have been the driving force behind Afghanistan’s remarkable campaign.

The key factors behind this success seem to be a strong focus on meritocracy, effective team leadership, unity & teamwork, an aggressive and offensive approach & a commitment to fitness & performance-based selection. This approach has helped Afghanistan overcome the challenges of playing in a high-pressure tournament like the T20 WC.

On the other hand our team currently lacks a merit-based selection process, effective leadership, unity, teamwork, phyical & psychological fitness, consistency, an offensive approach and the will to fight. This list of deficiencies is extensive….

It is time for PCB to thoroughly study the underlying causes of this dismal situation rather than cause a fiasco. The selection procedure should be based on merit, starting from the top positions. The team requires more psycholigical training than just physical training.

The PCB should implement a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) policy for player contracts and payments. Similar to the corporate sector, the players’ remuneration should be tied to their KPIs.

As a final suggestion, the PCB could consider forming a T20 team solely from the KPK & Balochistan provinces, as these are underrepresented regions, which have a lot of potential to improve the performance of our national team.

As Afghanistan continues to make strides in the international cricket arena, it is time for Pakistan’s team to take note and learn from their example. The future looks incredibly bright for Afghanistan’s cricket and they will undoubtedly be a team to watch out for in the years to come.

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