This World Cup has been tough for Afghanistan but they’ll take every lesson learned and come back stronger in the future.
There have been some tough moments but I’m still really excited for the future of cricket in the country, we know the interest is huge and we have the players.
We must remember that these are very tough sides and they were never going to be easy for Afghanistan to beat, so the expectation from the nation going into those games was not too high.
Nevertheless, they have done themselves proud with many of their performances, especially that match against India when we got so close. I think it’s important to say that this is a big honour for Afghanistan just to compete at this World Cup.
Afghanistan have just two games left now and we want to try and finish on a high against Pakistan and West Indies, we know how to beat both those teams so there’s no reason to believe we can’t again.
Whatever happens, though, this has been a very good experience for Afghanistan and the team would have learnt a lot from it, so I’m feeling very positive about the future.
I do think it has shown that Afghanistan need to arrange to play more games against the top nations to get that experience – that will be invaluable as we look towards 2023 in India where the conditions will suit our game.
I think if we can get more experience against those top teams and in different conditions around the world, then you will see a big improvement in Afghanistan in four years’ time.
The first thing to improve is our fielding - that’s where we often fall short when you compare the team to the best sides in the world, teams like England, India and Australia.
We saw the difference it made in the match with India.
That game will live long in the memory and hopefully will inspire the players and give belief. To lose by 11 runs to the second best side in the world proves how far we’ve come and why this journey is just beginning.
We know we’ve got world-class bowlers in the likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi but batting is still an area where we need work. In one-day cricket you need to confident your team can score 300 runs regularly.
This column was first published in the International Cricket Council media zone.