The T20 World Cup is upon us, and the cricketing world is gearing up for what promises to be a very exciting tournament. As is the nature with the explosive format of the game, we can see shocks, awes, and outright upsets for the next few weeks.

Many teams will be looking to win the trophy and write their names in the history books. The likes of India, Australia, New Zealand, England, Pakistan and South Africa will all be eyeing that trophy, but no team can be written off yet.

Among the underdog teams is Afghanistan. No one will be giving them any chances, and perhaps rightfully so given their squad quality and depth. However, they are in this tournament for what is perhaps the greatest purpose of the gentleman’s game, and that is to put smiles on the faces of those watching them.

T20 World Cup, AFG vs SCO live streaming: When and where to watch Afghanistan  vs Scotland match?, Sports News | wionews.com
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Afghanistan’s first good thing after the Taliban takeover

Afghanistan’s background coming into this tournament was one surrounded in sadness and controversy. The takeover of the country by the Taliban was a global tragedy, and it was met with shock and resentment from all over the world.

On a humanitarian level, questions continue to rise over how the Taliban would run the country. The aftermath of their takeover in August remains shrouded in suspense.

From a sporting point of view, there were concerns surrounding how the Taliban would address sports in their country. Luckily, Afghanistan were allowed to participate in the tournament. Although their preparation has not been the best, their players are determined to give their fans and supporters something to smile about.

The Taliban’s influence meant that the Afghan cricket board went through a shuffle, with personnel being replaced. Even the team captain was changed, with all-rounder Mohammad Nabi being handed the captaincy. Former captain Rashid Khan stepped down citing a lack of transparency as the reason.

Due to some visa issues, the Afghanistan team arrived in the UAE later than scheduled. As mentioned before, their preparation was also not ideal, having played only three T20Is since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nabi admitted that the situation was not the bets, but insisted that the team will give it their all to put smiles on their fans’ faces.

“It’s not that ideal,” Nabi told reporters on Sunday, a day ahead of their opening Super 12 match against the Scotland cricket team.

“There were little issues when we arrived in Dubai, but these last two warm-up games and practice sessions prepared the team well.

“The fans are really waiting because the only happiness in Afghanistan is cricket. If we do well in the tournament and win games, the fans will be really happy and there will be a lot of smiles on faces.”

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - Afghanistan v West Indies - Headingley, Leeds, Britain - July 4, 2019   Afghanistan fans during the match     Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Source: reuters.com

Afghanistan have been drawn in Group 2, alongside world-class sides like India, New Zealand and Pakistan. It is a group of death of sorts, and with only two sides from two groups qualifying for the semi-finals, their chances are pretty dire.

However, no sane cricketer would dismiss Afghanistan. Their stock has been on the rise in recent years, especially in the T20 format of the game. In fact, they qualified for the World Cup’s Super 12 stage automatically with their status as a top-eight side.

A look at this Afghan team will have you pay attention to their strong bowling attack that on their day can rattle the top batsmen in the world. They will rely on that core of players, which includes Nabi, Rashid and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Nabi commented on the chances of the team, and promised that no matter what happens, he and his team will give it their all to try and please their fans and supporters.

“I will try my best to make my team a unit,” the experienced captain said.

“We play a lot of cricket in UAE and every player knows how the conditions work. Really excited.”

Afghanistan ready to win against Scotland

Afghanistan will play their first match against another underdog team in Scotland. Scotland are a team that are winning hearts on their own, having had their own Cinderella story to get to the group stage.

Afghanistan has been the poster team for a hard journey to the top. They now find themselves against a team that is living that journey at the moment. Should Scotland beat the Afghans, it would be a huge statement of intent.

Afghanistan is the heavy favourite thanks to their superior squad, but this is cricket, and Scotland are riding the momentum of multiple victories. Although they are the underdogs, we have seen more shocking upsets in cricket, so don’t put it past the Scots to win.

The two teams will be playing at Sharjah, a pitch that is generally difficult to play on. It is a slow pitch, and runs are hard to come by. As a result, it will probably be a bowling exhibition.

Afghanistan vs. Scotland: Date, Live Stream, TV Info, Cricket World Cup  Preview | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
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However, should the pitch get better, the stadium’s small boundaries mean that batsmen can start to shine more. Moreover, the match is being played at night, meaning the dew will play a role in the outcome of the match.

The two teams have played six T20Is throughout history, and Afghanistan have won all six. The last time they played T20 cricket was in 2016. Scotland will say that times have changed, and Afghanistan will ask them to prove it.

Scotland player Calum MacLeod promised to stick to the principles that got them here, saying, “Just because we’re now into the Super 12s, I don’t think that changes much for us.

“I think we’ll come and play the aggressive type of cricket we want to play.”

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