Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott opened up on the qualification scenario blunder during must-win Asia Cup group clash against Sri Lanka. Trott stated the match officials did not inform his team of the finer NRR permutations.
Notably, fans slammed Afghanistan’s support staff, including their analyst, after the team potentially missed out on a place in the Super Fours of the Asia Cup 2023 due to a blunder in understanding the qualification scenario during a thrilling chase against Sri Lanka in Lahore on September 5.
Afghanistan came within 3 runs of a stunning chase of 292 against Sri Lanka, falling short by only 3 runs in the end, being swept out for 289 in 37.4 overs.
“We were never communicated those calculations,” Trott said in the post match press conference.
Afghanistan needed to chase 292 in 37.1 overs or get to 295 in 37.5 overs in a complex qualification scenario. The broadcasters also initially missed mentioning it as they only displayed the first scenario in which Afghanistan needed 292 in 37.1 overs. However, the on-air commentators kept mentioning the extended qualification scenario for Afghanistan toward the end of the 37th over.
While teams rely on match officials for information to some level, NRR calculations are pretty simple and are normally the domain of the analysts who are members of most high-profile teams’ backroom contingents.
“All we were communicated was we needed to win in 37.1 overs. We weren’t told what the overs in which we could get 295 or 297. [That we could win in] 38.1 overs was never communicated to us.”
Trott refused to pinpoint a single reason for Afghanistan’s exit, but believed his bowlers should have performed better in both this game and their last one against Bangladesh, in which they gave a first-innings total of 334.
“I don’t think there’s one reason we lost the game,” Trott said. “There are areas of the game we could have done better [in] and that goes for today’s game and the one against Bangladesh. We got some things horribly wrong in a few areas and it’s cost us. It’d be nice if we’d bowled them out a bit cheaper. But it wasn’t to be.”