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'Mubarak': Taliban FM speaks to Rashid over video call, congratulates Afghanistan for T20 WC 2024 feat (WATCH)

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Foreign Minister of Taliban, extended his congratulations to Rashid Khan, captain of Afghanistan's national cricket team, following their remarkable journey to their maiden semifinals of the T20 World Cup 2024.

Mubarak Taliban FM speaks to Rashid over video call, congratulates Afghanistan for T20 WC 2024 feat (WATCH) snt
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First Published Jun 25, 2024, 2:50 PM IST

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Foreign Minister of Taliban, extended his congratulations to Rashid Khan, captain of Afghanistan's national cricket team, following their remarkable journey to their maiden semifinals of the T20 World Cup 2024. The achievement marks a historic milestone for Afghan cricket, celebrated widely across the nation despite ongoing challenges.

Afghanistan secured a place in the semi-finals alongside India, England, and South Africa after an eight-run victory over Bangladesh in a rain-shortened Super 8 match in Kingstown on Tuesday. This result also eliminated former champions Australia from the competition, who have consistently declined to host Afghanistan due to the Taliban's rule in their country.

Also read: T20 WC 2024: We proved Brian Lara right, says Afghanistan's Rashid Khan after entering 1st-ever semis (WATCH)

Following this historic feat, Taliban FM Muttaqi spoke to Rashid Khan over a video call and congratulated the team and also wished him success for the rest of the tournament.

Take a look at their video conversation:

Rashid Khan, in a post-match press conference, described the accomplishment as a monumental feat that will inspire the youth of Afghanistan, a nation striving for stability amid turmoil.

"I think the semi-final is going to be a massive, massive like inspiration for the youngsters back home in Afghanistan. That Afghanistan team get into the semis for the first time," Rashid said at the post match press conference. "And we have done it under 19 level, but this level we haven't done that. Even Super Eight was first time for us and then in semis," he added.

Shortly after their victory, scenes of jubilant fans celebrating Afghanistan's historic achievement began circulating on social media.

With this triumph, Afghanistan has demonstrated significant progress in white-ball formats. In the last year's ODI World Cup, they caused upsets by defeating defending champions England, as well as former winners Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Their trend of overcoming giants continues at the T20 World Cup, having defeated heavyweight teams like New Zealand and Australia.

"The cricket we have played in the whole tournament so far - I think we deserve to be in the semis. The way everyone took the responsibility of getting into the game and performing best for the team," said Rashid.

"So, I don't know how I can describe my feeling but it's a massive achievement for us as a team and as a nation to be in the semis and now looking forward to the semis."

The Afghanistan cricket team comprises players who have polished their skills in various T20 leagues worldwide. When they unite to represent their nation, their passion is unmistakable.

Under the guidance of former England cricketer Jonathan Trott, Afghanistan has found an ideal head coach known for his calm and composed approach. This combination has fostered a team brimming with self-confidence.

"To me, there is no good team and bad team. Every team is equal to each other. As long on a day, we took the right decision the right time, and that's where the difference comes when you're a loser. So other than that, skill-wise, everyone is equal, I think," Rashid said.

Also read: T20 WC 2024: Holi-like celebrations erupt in Afghanistan, players dance after reaching 1st-ever semis (WATCH)

Awaiting them in the semifinal is an undefeated South African team. However, the Proteas faced challenges throughout the tournament, notably from underdogs Nepal, who came close to causing an upset before ultimately losing by just one run.

"Well, it's always you get that kind of inspiration for any team you watch on TV and those small totals when team defend that it gives you lots of things to learn from and definitely the way Nepal performed in the whole competition was something pleasing to see," Rashid said.

"They have played great cricket against all the sides they have played. And that's how T20 is all about. You need to have that kind of self-belief that we are capable of beating any side as long we do the right thing in the right time and we're making sure we keep the thing simple," he added.

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