Afghanistan's batsman Mohammad Shahzad and Hashmatullah Shahidi have said that they will go into this year's World Cup better prepared than last time, aiming to add to their solo win in the tournament so far.
"Now, it is not like it was before. In 2015, people said it is a proud moment that Afghanistan are a part of the World Cup. It is not the time for that. Now, it is time to say this to everyone else: ‘Wake up, Afghanistan is coming!," International Cricket Council (ICC) quoted Shahidi as saying.
Afghanistan will go into this year's World Cup with an arsenal of experienced cricketers and promising youngsters. Their spin attack still remains their ace ahead of the tournament.
The trio of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman claimed 16 wickets between them in the recently concluded ODI series against Ireland and these three will play a pivotal role in Afghanistan's lineup for the World Cup.
"We could beat just one team, Scotland, in the 2015 World Cup, this time we are better prepared with spinners like Mujeeb, Rashid, Nabi and Zahir Khan in our ranks. We are trying our best to perform better in the 2019 World Cup and beat four-five teams in the competition," ICC quoted Shahzad as saying.
Afghanistan has been a strong team in the sub-continent but their lack of experience in England may pose a challenge to the team. Shahidi, however, does not look too concerned.
"The conditions will be tricky, but many [Afghanistan] players have been to England before and know how to play there. Our team is going to Scotland and Ireland before the World Cup and it will be good preparation for us. We are also going to England early," ICC quoted Shahidi as saying.
Afghanistan would look to put up an impressive show in the World Cup this year.
Afghanistan takes on Australia in their opening match of the World Cup on June 1.