The sporting task is no more difficult than Lance Klusener’s role as the head coach of Afghanistan, as he tries to plan a World Cup journey with a team 12,000 kilometers away.
In an ideal situation, Cruzena and his team have prepared their first match of the T20 World Cup on October 25 in the United Arab Emirates.
On the contrary, the former South African all-around player is at his home near Durban, and most of the players are participating in a low-key training camp. The country is still dealing with the Taliban’s takeover.
“We plan to camp for at least one month (in the UAE), but we are still waiting for visas, so this will not happen. We will get there as soon as possible,” Cruzena said Agence France-Presse.
Coaching Afghanistan before the Taliban took control was not easy, but it became more difficult. Since the regime change, the series with Pakistan has been postponed and the country’s professional T20 championship has been cancelled.
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The headquarters of the Afghan Cricket Committee has already felt the influence of the Taliban, and a new chairman and chief executive have taken office.
A major issue with Afghanistan’s status as a full member of the International Criminal Court is the demise of the country’s women’s cricket sport.
Since his appointment two years ago, the 50-year-old Klusener has been to Kabul “about six times” under different weather conditions.
“A few days before we closed, I came back from Kabul. I think (Taliban takeover) will always happen, but its speed catches everyone by surprise. This is how the country works. As a sport, we can’t do anything for people except to use It or solve it.
“We had a very good training camp, which lasted about two and a half weeks. The stadium was very good at that time of the year. The weather was very extreme. I had been there in the middle of winter, and those stadiums were knee-jerk. Deep in the snow.”
He has not yet spoken with the new person in charge, but said that his understanding is that the Taliban “are all about promoting and supporting cricket. In all respects, they are very happy that we can continue and are very supportive.
“For the country and the people, this is a huge change. It will take a while for everyone to gain a foothold.”
While this is happening, Cruzena-who has participated in 49 tests and 171 ODIs for South Africa-is focusing on the daily challenges of his work.
“Unfortunately, we always play away games,” he said.
“Putting Covid into it is a logistical battle. Our last match was against Zimbabwe (in Abu Dhabi) in March.
“We are very lucky, we have a lot of people participating in the T20 league in different places,” Cruzena said.
Eight of the 15-man World Cup teams in Afghanistan have experience playing professional T20 cricket in other countries. They are led by the country’s “big three” Rashid Khan, Mujibu Ul Rahman and Mohamed Nabi. Participating in IPL in the UAE.
All three are spin bowlers.
“I think we have the best spin attack in the world,” Klusener said.
“We will ask any team we participate in, especially if there is a little opportunity available.
“Our biggest challenge is to get enough runs on the board. This is our focus, trying to make sure that if we hit the ball first, we will get something competitive.”
One thing Klusener doesn’t worry about is the change of captain.
Rashid Khan resigned because he was not consulted on the selection issue and Nabi was appointed to replace him.
Cruzena said he did not think there would be any tension between the two players.
“Nabi has a great head on his shoulders. He is very calm. All the senior players work very well together. He is one of those who thrive on responsibility. I think it will allow him to perform. The best level.”