Gros-Islet - Afghanistan
captain Asghar Stanikzai hopes his team will get more opportunities to
face top-flight cricket nations after their one-day international series
against the West Indies ended in a 1-1 draw here on Wednesday.
Steady rain forced the abandonment of the third and final one-dayer
with not a ball being bowled at St Lucia's Darren Sammy Stadium with the
series balanced at one apiece.
But Stanikzai said he believes his team, who lost a T20 series 3-0,
did enough to show they deserve more regular matches against full member
nations of the International Cricket Council.
"We didn't play as well as we could have but I thought we did enough
to show that we deserve to play the bigger teams more often," said
Stanikzai. "This was a great experience for us and we can look forward
now to what lies ahead with greater confidence."
West Indies captain Jason Holder accepted that his team faced a tough challenge.
"We were up against it after the first match but came back well in
the second and we have shown in the previous series against Pakistan
that we can compete with the best teams in the world also," he
commented. "We just need to put the bits and pieces performances
together on a more consistent basis for us to really move up the
rankings in international cricket."
West Indies are currently ranked ninth in ODI's and should they fail
to reach the top eight by the cut-off date of September 30 this year,
they will have to go through a qualifying tournament next year for the
2019 World Cup in England.
Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, with combined figures of ten for
44 over the two ODIs that were played was named Man of the Series.
"This tour was a great experience for me coming out of the Indian
Premier League and gives me great confidence moving forward with my
career as part of the Afghanistan team," he stated. "Our next challenge
is against the MCC at Lord's next month and I hope we can show the
benefit of this experience at that match."
West Indies now turn their attention to hosting India for five ODIs and a lone T20 International, starting June 23 in Trinidad.