Afghanistan secures 2025 Champions Trophy spot

Afghanistan has officially secured a spot in the 2025 Champions Trophy following a change in qualification rules by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Under the revised regulations, the top seven teams from the ICC World Cup 2023 will receive direct entry, and Pakistan will join as the eighth unit due to its status as the host nation.

With their impressive performance in the World Cup, Afghanistan appears poised to finish among the top seven.

Afghanistan’s quest for a spot in the World Cup semifinals received a significant boost after a commanding victory over the Netherlands. They clinched the match with seven wickets in hand, marking their fourth win in the tournament.

This decisive win has propelled Afghanistan to eight points, bringing them level with Australia and New Zealand in the standings. However, they currently trail both of these teams in terms of net run-rates.

In contrast, the Dutch team has struggled, suffering their fifth loss in seven games. Despite a remarkable 38-run win over South Africa, the Netherlands is poised to conclude their World Cup campaign in the lower half of the table with only four points.

The Netherlands’ batting woes were evident as four of their top five batsmen were run out, contributing to a subpar total of 179. Afghanistan’s experienced offspinner, Mohammad Nabi, and the young left-arm wrist spinner, Noor Ahmad, combined to claim five wickets. The Netherlands’ skipper, Scott Edwards, won the toss and chose to bat, but his team faced a challenging Afghan bowling attack.

Afghanistan’s Rahmat Shah, who had previously notched up half-centuries against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, displayed another impressive performance, scoring 52 off 54 balls. Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi remained unbeaten with 56 off 64 deliveries as Afghanistan comfortably reached a total of 181-3 in just 31.3 overs.

Hashmatullah Shahidi expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, saying, “We bowled well, but the run-chase was good. We are all very united at this World Cup. We are enjoying our wins, and all of them are thinking about winning. We are trying our best to make it to the semifinals, and if it happens, it will be a big achievement for the country.”

Afghanistan’s spin quartet, consisting of Nabi, Ahmad, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, continued to trouble the inexperienced Dutch batting lineup on a slow pitch, building on their earlier success against Pakistan.