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Focus on 50-Over Game, Not T20: Coach Andrew Moles to Afghanistan U-19 Team

PTI | Updated: September 21, 2018, 7:01 PM IST
Focus on 50-Over Game, Not T20: Coach Andrew Moles to Afghanistan U-19 Team

(Credit: ICC)

Noida: Afghanistan Under-19 head coach Andrew Moles has advised his wards to concentrate on 50-over cricket instead of Twenty20 as the team prepares for the upcoming Asia Cup in Bangladesh.

The Afghanistan Under-19 side is currently training in Noida ahead of the U-19 Asia Cup to be held next month in Bangladesh. Besides Afghanistan, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, UAE, Hong Kong and hosts Bangladesh will compete in the tournament.

Moles said he wants his team to focus on playing the longer format for the country at the moment and not get lured by cash-rich T20 tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL) or the Big Bash League (BBL) of Australia.

There is an apparent popularity of the 20-over format among the youngsters in Afghanistan, especially after the phenomenal success of Rashid Khan, who has represented the country in all three formats of the game. Rashid's spin bowling and aggressive batting in the Twenty20 games have earned him praise from India's cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, who recently hailed the Afghan as the "best spinner in the world in this format".

Rashid was bought by IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping Rs 9 crore, a first for any Afghan cricketer.

"I think Afghanistan or any other country in the world are now driven by the IPL, the Big Bash and other Twenty20 leagues around the world. They see the income that players can generate through playing this form of cricket. They are on some TV every day, so they see this cricket and copy it," Moles told PTI.

"My problem as a coach is trying to help the youngsters play for longer (duration) and not just hit fours and sixes. When you follow that, you only get short scores. So I'm trying to educate them about building an innings and not just hitting boundaries," he added.

Moles, who took over the charge of the team in 2014, said his job was to guide the young cricketers in the right direction.

"My job is to make these players realise that there are different forms of cricket and not just Twenty20 and educating them to prepare for different formats of the game," he said.

"They are just 17, they are still learning the game. Lot of the them are learning to put their skills in a match situation. Undoubtedly some of these guys will go on to be good cricketers, but at this stage to identify them and put a tag on them (would be incorrect). They should not even be thinking about playing IPL or anything like that at this stage. They should concentrate on what they are doing now, playing for Afghanistan in 50 over cricket."

The 20-member squad along with six coaching staff, including Moles and team manager Khalid Sangeen, is currently preparing itself in the Noida Stadium for a Bangladesh tour which begins in a week's time.
First Published: September 21, 2018, 6:02 PM IST

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