Ahead of their World Cup clash against host nation England, the Afghanistan team was greeted and addressed by the country's President, Ashraf Ghani, on 18 June. He addressed the players and the support staff, providing them with encouragement before they clashed with fourth-placed England.
Afghanistan has not had a great tournament so far as they have lost all the four matches they have played. The bottom-placed team will look to make a winning start to their World Cup campaign against the host nation, a victory that could boost their morale.
The underdog side has the likes of Mohammed Nabi and Rashid Khan, who had a good stint in international cricket and in the Indian Premier League earlier this year. However, their troubles have compounded after they lost four matches consecutively, in addition to dropping their leading run scorer Najibullah Zadran for former captain Asghar Afghan.
England, on the other hand, are riding on a high as they have won three out of four matches played and are sitting comfortably at the fourth place in the tournament table. The team is also staring at injury concerns as their skipper Eoin Morgan is just recovering from a back spasm and top-order batsman Jason Roy being ruled out for the next two games as he pulled his hamstring during their outing with West Indies.
England will not take Afghanistan lightly as the latter's performance in the warm-up games left most of the viewers stunned, as they picked up a 3-wicket victory over Pakistan in their first warm-up game. Afghanistan are looking to create in roads and open their account, as a loss in this match would signal an end to their passion of proceeding past the group stage.