World Cup team profile: Afghanistan
World Cup history
Afghanistan are the darling of world cricket, and all eyes will be on them as they take part in their first World Cup, having qualified by finishing second in the World Cricket League in 2013.
The Afghans played in the World Twenty20 last year and recorded a shock Asia Cup win over Bangladesh, and have the potential to surprise even the biggest sides. They also did well on their ODI tour to Zimbabwe late last year, winning two out of four games.
Their run is a tricky one, but they could potentially record two wins, as they have the Tigers and Scorland in their group, and if those sides are not of form on the day, they could come short.
Best finish: N/A
Squad: Mohammad Nabi (capt), Javed Ahmadi, Aftab Alam, Mirwais Ashraf, Usman Ghani, Hamid Hassan, Nasir Jamal, Nawroz Mangal, Gulbadin Naib, Samiullah Shenwari, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Afsar Zazai (wk)
Key Batsman: Skipper Mohammad Nabi comes into the event with the best record in qualifying, averaging over 52 with the bat. His form in the build-up this year hasn't been great, but he'll be a key figure come tournament time. He's handy with the ball as well.
Key Bowler: Paceman Dawlat Zadran will be vital for the side on the Antipodean pitches, and he's had a good run-up to the event, taking three wickets against Scotland in Dubai recently, and also posting good figures against the UAE in December. He averages 32 with the ball in ODIs.
Drinks carrier: Paceman Shapoor Zadran is in the squad but has not played in any of the build-up. They've named five pacemen, so this indicates he might not get as much game time as he'd have liked.
Kit colour: Grey-ish blue
Injury concerns: N/A
February 18 – v Bangladesh in Canberra
February 22 v Sri Lanka in Dunedin
February 26 – v Scotland in Dunedin
March 4 – v Australia in Perth
March 8 – v New Zealand in Napier
March 13 – v England in Sydney
Jonathan Trott warns England not to get ‘too desperate’ against India spinners
The duo have taken a combined 42 wickets in the series so far.
Darren Gough fears England could be on the end of another hiding by India
Gough knows all about two-day Test wins.
Chris Silverwood hopes England batsmen can learn from quickfire third-Test loss
Silverwood would not be drawn into criticising the pitch.
England players clash online over Alex Hartley’s social media comments
Hartley advertised England Women’s one-day international with New Zealand by referencing the men’s third Test defeat inside two days to India.
Nat Sciver excels as England wrap up series win in New Zealand
Sciver claimed three for 26 and hit 63.
Joe Root invites ICC to make own judgement on Ahmedabad pitch
England were beaten by 10 wickets to go 2-1 down in the series.
It was nice to bat on – Rohit Sharma defends pitch after India seal two-day win
The hosts thrashed England by 10 wickets in Ahmedabad.
Charlotte Edwards elected as first female president of the PCA
The former England captain takes over from Graham Gooch at the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
Joe Root refuses to blame pitch for England’s quickfire defeat in Ahmedabad
It was the shortest match since 1935 in terms of balls bowled.
7 Tests with the most premature endings since 2000
A turning wicket caused chaos for batsmen on both sides as England’s first-innings collapse for 112 set the tone.