In part thanks to an unhelpful format, the 2021 T20 World Cup was a disappointing tournament for Associates, but 2022 is just around the corner and the unforgiving qualification process has already begun.
T20 World Cup 2021: Will Namibia's Super 12 win over Scotland prove their zenith or a mere false peak?
Ruben Trumplemann had produced the finest first over of the tournament to date to wreck the Scottish top-order.
Afghanistan’s remaining opponents will likely have taken note of course, and may look more warily at their upcoming encounters.
Explainer: With 2023 Cricket World Cup qualifying process underway, here's a breakdown of ICC's new-look league structure
The new World Cup qualifying format constitutes three long-term divisions running over 25-30 months, feeding into three decisive tournaments at the end of the cycle which determine which teams will feature at the event.
Circling the wagons or throwing in the towel? ICC’s draconian suspension of Zimbabwe Cricket raises difficult questions
The suspension of Zimbabwe at last week’s ICC Annual Meeting on grounds of government interference may be seen as long overdue by many, others will argue that the ICC has hamstrung cricket in the country just as it was on the cusp of a much-needed clean-up. But for the players, who are always the first to suffer, it is above all ill-timed.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Afghanistan review: Selection blunders, off-field turmoil mark disappointing campaign for Afghans
A semi-final spot was never a realistic prospect, but Afghanistan were not here to make up the numbers, a new force rather than a novelty act.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: The trials of Gulbadin Naib; how Afghanistan's captain has been undone by his own best qualities
Gulbadin Naib has batted at every position for Afghanistan from one to nine, opened the bowling and bowled at the death, in the middle overs, or not at all. The only fitting description of his job to date has been 'whatever needs doing'.
India vs Afghanistan, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Afghans' best performance results in elimination, but team can take heart from effort
For Afghanistan, it was the sort of performance that, had it come in their first match, it would have sent ripples of alarm through their remaining opponents. It was finally the Afghanistan that the tournament had been expecting rather than the shambles that turned up.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Three games into their campaign, Afghanistan are in turmoil on and off the field
The politics of the Afghanistan board and dressing room can be difficult to follow even for insiders, but a flurry of personnel changes and public bickering suggest their on-field losing streak is hardly their only problem.
Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Old flaws resurface as Gulbadin Naib's men revert to being plucky underdogs
For all the entertainment value, the chase, and indeed the game, was what Afghanistan’s fans would have feared. The wayward pace section with no appealing replacement, the rickety third leg of the spin tripod, the fragility of the batting, were enough to offset Nabi’s personal brilliance with the ball and Najibullah’s defiance with the bat.
Afghanistan vs Australia, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Gulbadin Naib and Co's expected opening defeat produces few surprises
Afghanistan's loss against Australia was expected but there were few surprises in the manner of the defeat, if not the result itself, especially in the second innings.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Afghanistan preview: Gulbadin Naib and Co aim for semi-final spot as old guard look to bow out on high
The ingredients are there for Afghanistan for a few upsets. Naib’s side will fancy their chances against Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh and in their final match against the West Indies, all of whom they have beaten before. In their other six matches, they will start as underdogs, though that label has rarely fazed them in the past.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Afghanistan bowler, World Cup 2019 Player Full Profile: Blue Tigers can trust Mujeeb with new ball on UK tracks
Still just 18 years old, Mujeeb made his ODI debut only 17 months ago (one of only two players in the squad to debut within the last three years) and is already 5th in Afghanistan’s all-time ODI wicket-taking tables with 51 scalps.
Aftab Alam, Afghanistan bowler, World Cup 2019 Player Full Profile: Aftab Alam's medium pace asset for Blue Tigers on UK tracks
Dogged and dependable even when conditions are against him, Alam’s bustling medium pace may yet prove an asset in England.
Hamid Hassan, Afghanistan bowler, World Cup 2019 Player Full Profile: Surprise pick Hassan adds sizzling seam dimension to spin-heavy attack
If Hassan fires consistently, Hassan may turn out to be Afghanistan’s most famous secret weapon.
Dawlat Zadran, Afghanistan bowler, World Cup 2019 Player Full Profile: Pacer crucial for Afghans with new and old ball at mega event
As first-choice opening seamer and lower-order wildcard, Zadran will play a key role with the ball at the start of the innings and the bat at the close.
Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan all-rounder, World Cup 2019 Player Full Profile: Nabi's experience, proven record sets him apart at ten-nation event
Nabi, though still a crucial component of both the Afghan batting and bowling units, may well be heading into his second and last World Cup. But for him, it’s likely Afghanistan would still be waiting to play in their first.
Samiullah Shinwari, Afghanistan all-rounder, World Cup 2019 Player Full Profile: Experienced campaigner will be looking to silence critics on big stage
Shinwari is a stubborn and unconventional lower-middle-order bat, whose experience and all-round abilities add depth to the Afghan squad.
Najibullah Zadran, Afghanistan batsman, World Cup 2019 Player Full Profile: Zadran's hitting at death will be key for Afghans
Najibullah is a dangerous lower-order hitter, capable of scoring all around the ground.
Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afghanistan batsman, World Cup 2019 Player Full Profile: Calm Shahidi can play the stabilising role in middle order
Together with Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi is one of the few Afghan batsmen who might reasonably claim to be a stabilising influence on the batting.