- “It’s always a good game against Pakistan, but this should remain as a game,” says Rashid Khan.
- Rashid Khan requests fans to “stay cool and calm and enjoy the game”.
- Pakistan play against Afghanistan tomorrow.
Former Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan Thursday appealed to fans of both Pakistan and Afghanistan to remain calm when the two teams collide in their first T20 World Cup clash tomorrow (Friday).
The last time Afghanistan and Pakistan played against each other in a World Cup match, Pakistan had won the nail-biting thriller. However, fans from both teams collided inside and outside the stadium, thrashing each other.
Afghanistan’s star spinner Rashid played in that 50-over World Cup game at a packed Headingley in Leeds in 2019.
“Definitely it’s always a good game against Pakistan, but this should remain as a game,” he said in a statement.
He requested fans to “stay cool and calm and enjoy the game”, adding that whatever transpired between fans during the last World Cup clash should not happen again.
Rashid claimed four wickets and fellow spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman took five as Afghanistan started their T20 World Cup in style, bowling out Scotland for just 60 in reply to their mammoth 190-4.
However, tensions could cause violence in the stadium and outside, as both teams remain undefeated in the tournament so far and are chasing a place in the semi-finals of the mega-event.
Rashid said that the squad is trying just to focus on the tournament.
“We have only the World Cup in mind, we’re playing five games and we need to win three games,” said the 23-year-old.
“We don’t think about what’s happening. We don’t think about what happened in the past. That is something which is not in our hands, it is not in our control.
“We shouldn’t think about it, we don’t want extra pressure on us. As a team, we’re just focusing on this World Cup to get better and better.”
Afghanistan smashed 11 sixes and 13 boundaries in their rout of Scotland in Sharjah.
Rashid, however, said his team was not chasing a mindset to hit big sixes, adding that it is important for a team to adjust itself according to any wicket.
“I think we need to play good cricket. It’s not about getting too many sixes. These grounds are very hard to hit sixes. The wickets are not as good to hit the sixes.”