Afghanistan had come to ICC World Cup 2019 with a lot of goodwill and hope but as the tournament has progressed, the side has only plummeted. One of the cricketing world’s youngest entrants who are playing in just their second World Cup, Afghanistan failed to inspire in any of the games they have played so far.
On Tuesday, Gulbadin Naib’s team was staring down to yet another big defeat against England after the hosts put up a mountain of 397 runs for them to chase. Afghanistan had won the qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe last year defeating the West Indies in the final to reach the World Cup. Their rise over the last few years has been phenomenal.
However, some off the ground controversies seem to have hit the team’s focus and the latest is the involvement of some members of the squad in an altercation at a restaurant in Manchester on the eve of the team’s game against England. The situation got so bad that the police had to be called to settle things down.
No arrests were made
According to a report in BBC, the Afghanistan players objected to some fan filming them and Greater Manchester Police confirmed that officers reached Akbar’s restaurant close to midnight local time. No arrests were made and investigations are being done.
A few days ago, Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik was seen along with his wife Sania Mirza and some other Pakistan squad members at a sheesha place in London and it was being circulated that the players were awake late into the night when they had a big match against India the next day.
It was later clarified both by the Pakistan Cricket Board and Malik that the photo was taken on June 13 and not June 15 which was on the eve of the marquee clash. However, the fans were in no mood to spare the players after they were outsmarted by India at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Coming back to Afghanistan, they have already made the headlines in this tournament for a wrong reason. Mohammad Shahzad, their highest scorer, was dropped from the squad on grounds of knee injury although the player himself said that he was fit to play, hence leading to a controversy that did not reflect well on the team.