T20 World Cup: Kane Williamson heaps praise on Afghanistan cricket team - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report


Friday, June 7, 2024

T20 World Cup: Kane Williamson heaps praise on Afghanistan cricket team


Kane Williamson, New Zealand's white-ball captain - AFP

New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson heaped praise on the Afghanistan cricket team during a press conference on June 7 ahead of their T20 World Cup 2024 opener against Afghanistan at the Providence Stadium on Friday.

Williamson believes that the team always had a strong spin department but they have grown as a team and become well-balanced.

“They're a team that have just grown and grown every year and certainly players that have been involved in some of the franchise cricket are well aware of the capabilities of the talent and the world-class skills that they have within their side.

“They've always had really strong spin options, but now they're a very well-balanced side with the seamers that they have and the batting as well. So, a tough challenge and a team that's playing well and growing a lot,” the New Zealand skipper stated.

When asked if there are any certain players in the Afghanistan side the Kiwis are keeping their eyes on, Williamson said that “certainly a number of players in the side” and called the Afghani bowling attack “one of the better bowling attacks, I think, in the competition.”

As for the preparations of the New Zealand cricket team, Williamson stated that the team knows there are tough teams in the tournament and they all have roles within the team.

“For us, we know that there are strong teams throughout this competition and often [it] comes back to our cricket. We say that often it's about the cricket we want to play and focusing on our plans and roles that we have within our side.”

Williamson was adamant that it all comes down to the focus the team has on their roles and goals, “as a team, it comes back to the focus that we have on our game and how we want to skin it, I suppose, which can look different every day. But that commitment to those roles is important.”

The New Zealand cricket team has had an unlucky run in ICC events including the T20 World Cups. They have failed to win a single title but the team has come close to grabbing the trophy and taking it home several times.

They were the semi-finalists of the 2007, 2016 and 2022 T20 World Cups and the runners-up of the 2021 T20 World Cup which was won by Australia.

Williamson was the captain in the 2016, 2021 and 2022 campaigns of the New Zealand team. Williamson has been captain of New Zealand for the last six T20 World Cups.

He has also unsuccessfully led the team to a Cricket World Cup defeat in 2019 at the hands of Eoin Morgan’s English team.

After New Zealand locks horns with Afghanistan on June 7, Friday, they will play against their Group C members West Indies, Uganda and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

New Zealand’s squad for T20 World Cup 2024:

Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.

Travelling Reserve: Ben Sears

New Zealand’s schedule for T20 World Cup 2024:

7 June 2024 – New Zealand vs Afghanistan, Guyana

12 June 2024 – New Zealand vs West Indies, Trinidad

14 June 2024 – New Zealand vs Uganda, Trinidad

17 June 2024 – New Zealand vs Papua New Guinea, Trinidad

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