After the defeat in the T20 World Cup semi-final, Afghanistan's coach expressed anger at the ICC, said- “It should be a fair match”

After the defeat in the T20 World Cup semi-final, Afghanistan's coach expressed anger at the ICC, said- “It should be a fair match”

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Afghanistan's impressive run at the T20 World Cup 2024 ended at the final hurdle as the Rashid Khan-led side suffered a 9-wicket defeat against South Africa in Trinidad. Opting to bat first, Afghanistan could only manage 56 runs, their lowest score in T20Is and also the lowest in T20 World Cup history. After Afghanistan's campaign in the competition ended on Wednesday, head coach Jonathan Trott expressed his anger at the ICC, saying it wasn't even an “even contest”.

Speaking to the media at the post-match press conference, Trott said that although he did not want to get himself into any trouble, he wanted to highlight the poor nature of the pitch, which was prepared for a big match like the World Cup semi-final.

“I don't want to get myself into trouble. But I also don't want to sound like I'm 'sour grapes', but this is not a pitch you would want to play a World Cup semi-final on. Plain and simple. It should be a fair contest. I'm not saying it should be completely flat with no spin and no seam movement, you shouldn't have to worry about batsmen stepping up and having the ball go over their head. You should have the confidence to get out of the line or use your skills. And T20 is about attacking, scoring runs and taking wickets. Not about surviving,” Trott said during the press conference.

Trott wanted the pitch to benefit both his team and South Africa. However, he feels his team suffered due to a pitch that was more favorable to the opposition.

“If the opposition bowls well and puts you in a good position through their skill set, they don't have any issues. Then it's all about adapting.”

“If we had bowled like South Africa, you could have seen a different second half,” he said while speaking to media persons.

Jonathan Trott speaks on Afghanistan programme

Trott also spoke about the Afghanistan team's busy schedule. However, he did not cite the schedule as the reason behind his team's embarrassing defeat in the semi-finals.

“We got back to the hotel at three o'clock and then we had to leave at eight o'clock – five hours later, so we didn't get much sleep, so the players were very tired and they had to go through a lot emotionally and physically. So it was completely new territory for the players,” Trott said. Having said that, Trott admitted they were outplayed by a strong South African side.

“But we knew the schedule, so it's no excuse. When you go into a World Cup or a tournament, you can't have everything your way, and you have to fight and play against the odds, which you have done many times and you are proud of. But that's not it, that's not the reason why we didn't win today. “South Africa bowled well, took advantage of the conditions and showed our boys what they are capable of. But tonight it didn't go our way.” The 43-year-old hoped the semifinal defeat would be a learning lesson for the team, which has improved a lot in the last five years.

He said, “We have performed better this time than the last (ODI) World Cup in November and we have to move forward step by step and hopefully we will learn from today, the batsmen have definitely learned from it.”

“What it takes to play international cricket and play against a bowling side like South Africa on a pitch that is perhaps not conducive to high-scoring runs and finding ways to win games… we just couldn't find a way today.” Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (0) and Ibrahim Zadran (2), who were Afghanistan's top run-scorers in the tournament, both failed, putting pressure on a middle order that had not performed well at all in the tournament.

“Nobody else has scored runs. We have to find out why,” Trott said.

Despite the loss to South Africa, Afghanistan can hold their heads high, as they have made their mark in the tournament and elevated their status as an elite team.

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