'Fight for every ball': Rashid Khan's inspiring speech that fired Afghanistan to WC win over SL (WATCH)
In a video shared by ICC on their social media handle, Afghanistan star Rashid Khan is seen rallying his team to focus on the finer details rather than the outcome, encouraging them to give their best efforts ahead of the clash against Sri Lanka in the ODI World Cup 2023.
Prior to Afghanistan's remarkable seven-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in the 30th match of the ODI World Cup 2023 at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, star cricketer Rashid Khan delivered a motivating speech, emphasizing the importance of fighting for every ball. In a video shared by ICC on their social media handle, Rashid is seen rallying his team to focus on the finer details rather than the outcome, encouraging them to give their best efforts.
"Remember these three things. Firstly, every ball we fight, if it's our batting, if it's our bowling or if it's our fielding. Our only focus should be to fight it out with the other team. Don't think about the outcome or whether we will win or not focus on the finer details instead and these finer details will paint the bigger picture. Fight for every ball" Rashid Khan said.
Rashid emphasized the significance of putting in 100% effort, irrespective of circumstances. He stressed the need to trust in their abilities and deliver wholehearted efforts, highlighting the support and anticipation of millions back in Afghanistan who find joy and happiness in cricket. He underlined the necessity of giving their best, not just for the outcome but for the genuine and honest effort put forth.
"Even if I come out to bowl later on no matter how wet the ball is I will put in my 100% effort for the team because if I think that the ball is too wet. I won't be able to bowl well and automatically, I will concede runs because mentally, I would probably give up. So whether we ball first or second in every moment we will trust ourselves and will put in 100% effort. Thousands pray for us and watch our matches only to see Afghanistan win and triumph because cricket is the only thing that brings joy and happiness in Afghanistan" the Afghan star said.
"So as a team we shouldn't take the pressure, we only focus on the effort. Everyone wants to see that effort not just the result but a real honest effort. So as a team, we will get in and put in the effort and we also make sure of the biggest thing that we keep smiling Go on boys," Rashid said.
In the contest, Afghanistan opted to field first, setting Sri Lanka to bat. The Sri Lankan team encountered consistent setbacks, losing their wickets at regular intervals. Contributions from Pathum Nissanka (46 runs in 60 balls, including five boundaries), Kusal Mendis (39 runs in 50 balls, comprising three boundaries), and Sadeera Samarawickrama (36 runs in 40 balls, with three boundaries) guided Sri Lanka to a total of 241 within 49.3 overs.
Fazalhaq Farooqi proved to be the standout performer with the ball for Afghanistan, claiming figures of 4/34. Mujeeb secured two dismissals, while Rashid and Azmatullah Omarzai each took one wicket.
During Afghanistan's turn to bat, chasing the target of 242 runs, commendable performances from Azmatullah Omarzai (unbeaten 73 runs in 63 balls, including six fours and three sixes), Rahmat Shah (62 runs in 74 balls, with seven fours), and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (unbeaten 58 runs in 74 balls, with two fours and a six) steered the team to a triumphant victory.
Following their triumph over Sri Lanka, Afghanistan secures the fifth position in the tournament standings, garnering six points from three victories out of their six matches.