Australia have lost to Afghanistan at the under-19 cricket World Cup, but national talent manager Greg Chappell has urged fans not to overreact.
Cricket Australia’s national talent manager Greg Chappell says he can understand why people on the other side of the world might be getting a bit carried away.
But the Test great says Australia’s 37-run loss to Afghanistan at the under-19 World Cup in Abu Dhabi isn’t a case of the sky falling in.
“We’ve got to be careful not to over-react in these situations,” Chappell told AAP from Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
“You blokes (in the media) are the worst of the lot. You tend to love these sorts of stories and make them perhaps bigger than they are.
“This is about helping them develop. Australian cricket is not going to win everything and it’s not about winning.
“It’s a matter of exposing our best of the next generation to as wide a variety of experiences as they possibly can.
“It was always going to be a challenge because we knew they’d have five spin bowlers who are all fairly experienced and many of them have played in the Afghan national team.
“It wasn’t as big a shock to us as it might be to people reading it from a distance.
“The Afghanistan national team qualified for the 2015 World Cup, did it not?”
Asked if he understood how Aussie fans might be taken aback at the result, Chappell went on: “Those that don’t follow the cricket closely could easily have that feeling.
“But Afghanistan cricket is a lot stronger than people understand,” he said.
“A lot of them have experienced a lot of everything.”
Chappell says every game of cricket for Afghanistan is a celebration.
“I’m sure a lot of these guys have probably been in refugee camps in Pakistan and playing a lot of cricket in that part of the world,” he said.
“There’s a lot of influence from Pakistan.
“These guys have played a lot more cricket than our guys have.
“Our kids are coming out of school cricket.”
War-torn Afghanistan, which doesn’t have Test-playing status, is now locked in a tense battle with Australia and Bangladesh for a top-two finish in Pool B to advance to the quarter-finals.
Coach Graeme Hick’s Australia (1-1) will play Bangladesh (2-0) on Wednesday. Runners-up in Townsville in 2012, Australia need victory and a strong run-rate against Bangladesh to hope to qualify for the next stage.
Chasing 254 to win, Australia were bowled out for 217.
Brisbane Heat BBL T20 batsman Ben McDermott, son of ex-Test paceman Craig McDermott, made a duck at No.3 against Afghanistan.
Fellow Queenslander James Bazley top-scored with an unbeaten 54 after taking 3-69.
NSW teenager Jake Doran, who played against England in a tour match in Alice Springs in November, made 45.
Captain Jaron Morgan (47) and Damien Mortimer (43) also got starts.
“I don’t think many people expected us to defeat Australia but we did it and we did it convincingly,” Afghanistan captain Nasir Jamal said.