Both Australia and Afghanistan haven’t sealed their spots in ODI World Cup 2023 semifinals and Tuesday’s outcome will make an impact on the points table.
Mumbai: Legendary Sachin Tendulkar paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan’s training camp at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai ahead of their ODI World Cup 2023 encounter against Australia on Monday. The match on Tuesday will be crucial in terms of semifinal qualification as a lot will be decided on the outcome of the game. While Australia, sit third with 10 points, Afghanistan are two spots behind with eight points.
Tendulkar is a global ambassador of the ODI World Cup 2023 and there was a special request from the Afghanistan players to meet the God of Cricket in person. Tendulkar, who belongs from Mumbai only, adhered to Afghanistan’s request and spent a good amount of time with Tendulkar as they talked about cricket.
While Tendulkar shared his experiences and gave important tips to the Afghans, the players listened to every word with utmost seriousness. The former Indian was also presented with a small token of appreciation by the whole Afghanistan team.
“We are all excited (to meet Tendulkar) because he’s a legend of the game. And for a lot of the (Afghanistan) players, we were watching him on TV as a successful player. And he was a role model for a lot of our players,” Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi said before meeting Tendulkar.
“So, it will be an exciting time for our team. It’ll be exciting to see him and maybe (he’ll speak) some words and we (will) learn from him.” After the intense talking session, Tendulkar also obliged for pictures with the Afghanistan players.
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) November 6, 2023
For the unknown, Tendulkar also met his old friend and one-time teammate Ajay Jadeja in the Afghanistan cam, who is working as a mentor for the Asian giant-killers in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023.
Ranked ninth in ODIs, Afghanistan are the most-talked-about side in the World Cup this time. The Afghan Atlans shocked the likes of defending champions England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Netherlands to stand a chance to qualify for the semifinals for the first time.
It is also to be noted that before this World Cup, Afghanistan had won just one game in two editions. While the players deserve much credit, a lot goes to former England batter Jonathan Trott (current Afghanistan head coach) and Jadeja for their performances.
A cracker of a contest is on the cards on Tuesday in Mumbai as Australia will find it difficult against Afghanistan, particularly their spin quartet of Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Noor Ahmed. Australians are not good players of spin.