Afghanistan’s rise huge for cricket: Finch

London: Australia captain Aaron Finch was all praise for their opponents Afghanistan ahead of their World Cup opener. The two sides face each other on Saturday at the Bristol County Ground and Finch said that Afghanistan’s win against Pakistan in a warm-up game last week showed what they are capable of.

“If you take your foot off the gas for a second they will hurt you,” said Finch, “and you still have to play at your absolute best to beat them.”

The 32-year-old also spoke about the significance of Afghanistan’s fairytale rise in international cricket since the last time the two sides played in a World Cup back in 2015.

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“To see their growth in the last four years in particular has been huge,” said Finch. “Even them winning their warm-up game against Pakistan, they played brilliantly. They bowled excellent, they batted excellent. They got such a huge following of cricket fans in Afghanistan and some huge marquee players that are so sought after around the world. Cricket is growing quicker and quicker there and it’s a great story.

“I was talking to their captain Gulbadin (Naib) the other day and he was saying how passionate their fans are and how they have support all over the world now which is huge for the game of cricket.”

Finch said that while Australia will be revealing their playing XI only at the toss, David Warner will be playing having recovered from a glute injury. “Davey is fine. He will play, no doubt about that,” he said.


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