According to head coach Jonathan Trott, Afghanistan must play more Test matches in order to develop as a team in the longest format. His remarks were made following Afghanistan’s ten-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in their eighth and final Test match, played at the Singhalese Sports Club Cricket Ground. Jonathan Trott was pleased with his team’s performance despite losing, particularly on game day three.
He added that certain fantastic players, including Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Fazalhaq Farooqi, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who were now competing in the 2024 ILT20 in the United Arab Emirates, were not available to Afghanistan. Premier spinner Rashid Khan, who is still recovering from back surgery, was also absent from the game for the visitors.
“Sri Lanka plays ten Tests this year, and this is our ninth Test as a nation. As you can see, the more we play in the T20 and ODI formats these days, the better we get and the larger pool of talent we have to choose from. However, the fact that we came here and tied Sri Lanka for the lead and went on to win the day yesterday, according to ESPNcricinfo, is encouraging for the future.
“A number of other players are still playing in the leagues, but they are all available to play in Test cricket. Sri Lanka, in Jonathan Trott’s opinion, has similar problems. Likewise, all cricket-playing nations do. The key factors are the dates of those Test matches, the players’ availability, and whether or not the players believe there is a good balance between competing for their country and in leagues. Although it’s a double-edged blade, I would prefer to have a full roster of players to choose from. Hopefully we can get that perfect for Ireland, against whom Afghanistan plays a one-off Test starting on February 28.
“As their career windows are limited, cricketers are attempting to position themselves and strike the ideal balance between country and league. Younger players will find Test cricket more appealing the more lucrative it is. My main concern is that younger players might not view it as a viable path to participating. Test cricket is a very special kind of cricket. If that isn’t given the best care and nurturing possible, it’s such a shame,” the coach continued.
Jonathan Trott praises Zadran for his century in the second inning for Afghanistan.
Jonathan Trott was full of admiration for Ibrahim Zadran, who made 114 in the second inning for Afghanistan. His performance greatly thrilled the 42-year-old, who said he is a “great ambassador for the game.” Interestingly, Zadran’s century was the first by a player as young as twenty-two and the fourth by an Afghan hitter.
He was out in the field all day yesterday. On the third day of a test, he fielded in the early morning when the humidity was high and the temperature was almost forty. It’s a testament to him as a young player that he was able to field for more than 100 overs despite being out of position in the opening innings and the mental toughness it requires to stay at the crease for that long. The standards of Test cricket, the level of fitness required to be called upon, and the nation are excellent examples for the remaining Afghan players, Jonathan Trott said.