International Cricket Council

Download The Official Cricket World Cup App

Find Out More
C
Gulbadin Naib

'Morale high for World Cup' – Gulbadin Naib

Gulbadin Naib, the new Afghanistan one-day international captain, is upbeat about his team's chances in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.

Afghanistan are set to feature in only their second ever Cricket World Cup, sealing their place through the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe last year, which they won. They trained for the main event at a camp in South Africa and have high expectations of causing a few upsets in the tournament.

However, they got a jolt when the selectors decided to go with split captaincy and named a new leadership team. Naib took over from Asghar Afghan, even as senior members of the squad went public with their concerns of how the last-minute change could affect the team's spirits.

Video cwc19 12 Mar 19
CWC Greatest Moments: Afghanistan's first CWC win

Naib, though, dismissed these concerns. The change, he said, was "no big deal" and hailed the experience of his team-mates.

“When I look at my team, we prepared very well the last couple of months,” he told AFP in Kabul on Monday, 29 April, ahead of the team’s departure for the World Cup. "The guys have a [high] morale, everyone is very excited to be participating in the World Cup.”

Naib was particularly pleased with the camp in South Africa, expecting the bouncy wickets they played on to be similar to what they might get in England and Wales.

The team is placed No.10 on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings chart, but he wasn't ruling out their chance to surprise a few teams. In the Asia Cup, they beat Sri Lanka, took Pakistan close and forced a tie against India. Asked if he thought his team could go all the way, Naib said: “I hope so. It’s cricket ... anything can happen.”

Afghanistan open their World Cup campaign against Australia in Bristol on 1 June.

Latest Video

ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 - Bermuda v USA Pre-Match Captains Interviews
ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 - Bermuda v USA Pre-Match Captains Interviews
cwc19
ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 - Americas Final: Pre-tournament captain interviews
ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 - Americas Final: Pre-tournament captain interviews
cwc19
Umpire Aleem Dar looks back on a long career
Umpire Aleem Dar looks back on a long career
cwc19
The Criiio Cup
The Criiio Cup
cwc19
Meg Lanning looking ahead to T20WC
Meg Lanning looking ahead to T20WC
cwc19
U19 CWC Europe Q - Top five moments
U19 CWC Europe Q - Top five moments
cwc19

Latest news

C
Afghanistan fans celebrate a boundary during the 2019 Cricket World Cup warm up match between England and Afghanistan at The Oval in London on May 27, 2019.

#CWC19

Hotstar CWC19 Dream11

ICC Fantasy