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

Learn how to talk cricket in Pashto!
Learn how to talk cricket in Pashto!
cwc19
Men's T20WCQ Africa Final: Top 5 performances
Men's T20WCQ Africa Final: Top 5 performances
cwc19
Men's T20WCQ Africa Final: Namibia and Kenya captains react on reaching Global Qualifiers
Men's T20WCQ Africa Final: Namibia and Kenya captains react on reaching Global Qualifiers
cwc19
CWC19 - Elma Smit takes in Bristol city activation
CWC19 - Elma Smit takes in Bristol city activation
cwc19
CWC19 WU5: South Africa v West Indies - Rain can't dampen fans' spirits
CWC19 WU5: South Africa v West Indies - Rain can't dampen fans' spirits
cwc19
CWC19 WU5: South Africa v West Indies - Elma Smit evaluates a rain-hit day
CWC19 WU5: South Africa v West Indies - Elma Smit evaluates a rain-hit day
cwc19
CWC19 WU5: South Africa v West Indies - Amla's silky 50
CWC19 WU5: South Africa v West Indies - Amla's silky 50
cwc19
CWC19 WU5: South Africa v West Indies - fans make the most of a rain delay
CWC19 WU5: South Africa v West Indies - fans make the most of a rain delay
cwc19
CWC19 WU2: South Africa v Sri Lanka - highlights
CWC19 WU2: South Africa v Sri Lanka - highlights
cwc19
CWC19 WU3: England v Australia - highlights
CWC19 WU3: England v Australia - highlights
cwc19

Latest news

C
ICC Captain's Media Day, May 23 2019

#CWC19

Pick each match & tournament winner

Play The Bracket