National team Head Coach, Lance Klusner accompanied by ACB CEO, Lutfullah Stanikzai and National team skipper, Asghar Afghan, addressed a press conference at ACB Headquarters in Kabul today on his first visit to Afghanistan.
Klusner said that his priority as the head coach is to prepare the team well enough for the two major T20 events of the year so that they are able to qualify at least for the play-offs of these tournaments. He further added that Afghanistan will be up against tougher teams in the T20 World Cup later in the year in Australia. Therefore, their training is mostly focused on fast bowling and to prepare the batsmen to adapt themselves accordingly since the Australian conditions are well known to favor pacers.
On his role as the head coach of team Afghanistan, Klusner said that the Afghanistan team has always been close to his heart as he watched them closely in their matches against Zimbabwe when he served as the latter’s batting coach.
In his address to the press, Mr. Stanikzai said that Klusner will be conducting training camps for players in the future as well in Afghanistan where he will also assist local coaches in the country.
Responding to a question about Afghanistan’s upcoming series against Ireland in India, Stanikzai said that Ireland is a great team, especially in ODIs, and both countries have played good cricket against each other in recent years. As a new full member of ICC, ACB understands the financial situation of Cricket Ireland better. Since they could not host Afghanistan in August, ACB agreed to host them which will be compensated next year based on a bilateral agreement between both sides.
Both sides will play a three-match T20I series on 6th, 8th, and 10th March respectively at the Greater Noida Ground in India.
Asked about his recent statement about his plan to recall some senior players to the national squad, skipper Asghar Afghan emphasized that T20 is a format that requires quick thinking and a faster approach which will be relatively tougher for younger players to adapt sooner and absorb the pressure of international cricket compared to the senior players who have the experience and adapt well.
Both Afghan and Klusner reciprocated the fact that the camp in UAE, as well as the upcoming training camps in the year, will be more focused on fast bowling as it has a profound impact in the T20 in Australian conditions which are suited well for pace.