Afghanistan is set to face Bangladesh in a three-match T20I series starting on Sunday in their adopted home, Dehradun.
After a brilliant campaign in the ICC Qualifiers, Afghanistan will start as favourites for the tournament. They have been quite excellent in the recent past, and granting of Test status recently by ICC shows the number of efforts the Afghanistan players have put in the last few months.
However, cricket in the country is not easy to play, In a country which is dominated by terrorism, it puts immense pressure on the players to practice there. Hence, they have two adopted home ground in India.
While one is in Dehradun which will host the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh, the other is one is at the Greater Noida.
How does it feel to play in Afghanistan and what sort of story the players have to tell. It was the left-arm spinner, Sharafuddin who answered many questions during an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda. He was part of the squad which won the ICC World Cup Qualifiers by defeating Windies in the final of the tournament.
He appeared in all the seven matches for his nation and struck the winning runs in a victory against the Windies which came after three consecutive defeats.
Sharafuddin gave his opinion on various topics from the series starting on Sunday to how they feel ahead of their historic maiden Test against India later in the month.
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When asked what struggles they went through to reach this level were and how cricket is perceived back in the country, Sharafauddin Ashraf said the sport in the country is increasing each day.
“Cricket in Afghanistan is growing every day. Domestic cricket is becoming more competitive. In terms of our personal struggle, every player in the squad will have a story to tell. Just like India have MS Dhoni, whose story is known worldwide, we have eleven Dhoni-like stories in our team who have gone through a lot in life already. A film can be made on each one of them.
There would be no international cricketer from Afghanistan who hasn’t faced immense struggles in his career. Our seniors were up against steeper challenges than we are, as we still have this platform and such facilities for us today.”
Afghanistan faces India in a one-off Test which will mark the beginning of a new chapter in Afghanistan cricket.
When asked how is the team preparing for the Test and does Afghanistan has it in them to pose a threat to Afghanistan, Ashraf said it would be challenging to beat India given the fact they are the No one ranked side in the world.
India is a world class team, says Ashraf
“India is a world class team. Our preparations for the Test are going on in full swing. It is extremely difficult to beat India in India. However, we have certain exceptional spinners in our ranks, and it will be a good battle between them and the Indian batting line-up.
Anything can happen in cricket; things can turn around in a couple of sessions. I’m sure if our spinners work well and we get a couple of partnerships on the board, we can make a match out of it. I’m sure India won’t take us lightly as well,” he said.
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