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Meet the Afghanistan Team for the ICC World Cup 2015

Afghanistan cricket board has announced the 15 member squad for the upcoming cricket world cup. With around one and half month left the the tournament this is the right move for the board to declare the team and let them focus on the preparations. Let us discuss the team players and their recent form, achievements in detail here. The team list is as follows:

  1. Mohammad Nabi Eisakhail 
  2. Nawroz Mangal
  3. Afasr Khan Zazai 
  4. Mohamma Javed Ahmadi  
  5. Mirwais Ashraf 
  6. Gulbadin Naib 
  7. Mohammad Ashghar Stanizai
  8. Samiullah Shinwari 
  9. Najibullah Zadran 
  10. Usman Ghani
  11. Nasir Jamal 
  12. Hamid Hassan 
  13. Shapoor Zadran 
  14. Dawlat Zadran 
  15. Aftab Alam
Mohammad Nabi and Nawroz Mangal the team captain and vice captains respectively. Both these players are bowl right arm off-break and are strong pillars of the batting line.  Nawroz Mangal has captained the Afghanistan team in the past and his experience will be crucial and helpful both for the team and to the new captain Nabi as well.  Afasr Khan Zazai is the only wicket keeper in the squad and in case of any injuries any batsmen is most likely to keep the wickets for Afghanistan team. The fifteen member squad included a couple of all rounders and batsmen but I guess the selectors should have picket a few more fast bowlers in the 15 members squad. There are only 4 fast bowlers in the team. One or two additional fast bowlers might have given the coach and the captain some more choices to pick the bowlers.

Now when the team is already announced we wish all the best to the Afghanistan cricket team. The team is already in Australia for preparations.

World Cup Match Schedule for Afghanistan cricket team: Here is the details of the matches the Afghanistan cricket team will play in the word cup in the group stage:
  • 18-Feb-2015: Afghanistan v Bangladesh at 14:30 Australian Standard time at Manuka Oval, Canberra
  • 22-Feb-2015: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka at 11 am Australian Standard time at University Oval, Dunedin
  • 26-Feb-2015: Afghanistan v Scotland at 11am Australian Standard Time at University Oval, Dunedin
  • 4-Mar-2015: Afghanistan v Australia at 14:30 Australian Standard Time at Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth
  • 8-Mar-2015: Afghanistan v New Zealand at 14:30 Australian Standard Time at McLean Park, Napier
  • 13-Mar-2014: Afghanistan v England at  14:30 Australian Standard Time at Sydney Cricket Ground
The complete world cup match schedule can be seen here -
If the Afghan cricket team plays well and win a couple of matches in the group stage, they have the chances to qualify for the knock out rounds. But this first time world cup appearance is a great opportunity to the team to learn and grow further in the world of cricket. We once again wish the very best to the Afghanistan cricket team and hope this would be the first of many ICC world cup appearances for them.

India & South Africa Announces preliminary 30 men squad for world cup

Both India and South Africa cricket boards have announced the list of 30 probables for the world cup. While India have given preferences to young players with current good form and excluded many experienced players who were part of 2011 world cup winning team. South African cricket squad of 30 probables on the other hand looks quiet balanced and experienced.

Here is list of 30 probables for South Africa:
AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla (vice capt), Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, Marchant de Lange, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan Mclaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Andrew Puttick, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Mthokozisi Shezi, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Morne van Wyk, David Wiese.

Here is list of 30 probables for India:
MS Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Manoj Tiwary, Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Sanju Samson, R Ashwin, Parveez Rasool, Karn Sharma, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Kuldeep Yadav, M Vijay.

We will not discuss about the players at this stage but once the final squad is announced.

NZ Visa, no worries for Indian cricket fans

With less than 80 days to go for the ICC world cup 2015 to start, there is a very exciting news for all the Indian cricket team fans who wish to visit New Zealand and watch the matches live from the stadium. All the Indian tourists who hold a valid visa for Australia can now get a free visa on arrival for New Zealand for the the duration of the world cup to watch the matches. Indian cricket team will play two group stage matches in New Zealand vs Ireland and Zimbabwe on 10th and 14th March respectively (More on 2015 world cup match schedules here - and if Indian team performs well and qualifies for the next round there can be a good turnaround of Indian cricket team fans visiting New Zealand.

Country tourism department is expecting 33% increase in the tourists.David Craig the Tourism New Zealand general manager for Asia was quoted saying "Last year (July 2013-June 2014) we had about 30,000 Indian visitors and we expect about 40,000 visitors this fiscal ending June next," Overall there are quiet good number of matches being hosted by New Zealand, including a quarter final and semi final match. This means tourists from various participant nations are being expected to visit the country for matches.  The Tourism New Zealand is taking this as the opportunity to establish and increase the popularity of New Zealand as a preferred tourism destination in the world.