AT A GLANCE
When? Friday 5th
October, 17:00 (UK)
Where? Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Weather? Weather here
What channel is it on? Kabul Zwanan vs Paktia Panthers will not be televised live in the UK
Where can I stream the match? Kabul Zwanan vs Paktia Panthers cannot be streamed live in the UK
Are tickets still available? https://www.q-tickets.com/apl/eventlist
THE TEAM NEWS
Coach: Heath Streak
Captain: Rashid Khan
- The Kabul outfit open the inaugural Afghan T20 tournament led by the nation’s star player and arguably the best T20 bowler in the world as Rashid Khan will skipper the side during the competition.
- They play the opening match with a strong looking team as Luke Ronchi, Colin Ingram and Laurie Evans provide the team with batting firepower, while the bowling attack looks tasty too with the captain supported by all-rounders Wayne Parnell and Sohail Tanvir.
- The only question mark that may arise is over whether such captaincy will suit Rashid Khan at just 20 years of age or whether it will prove to be something of a burden and take away from the fact he is such a dangerous bowler.
Coach: Dawlat Ahmadzai
Captain: Mohammad Shahzad
- The Panthers come into this opening match with plenty of expectation themselves as they are skippered by Afghanistan's wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad, and similar to his counterpart Rashid Khan, he has little experience of captaincy.
- He will form part of a powerful looking batting line-up here as Luke Wright is coming off an outstanding T20 Blast campaign in England, T20 specialist Cameron Delport will be looking to bounce back from a relatively disappointing Caribbean Premier League while Ihsanullah Janat brings some form into the tournament too.
- The bowling attack looks a little light as they will rely heavily on Thisara Perera and Chris Jordan, while Pakistani veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi will either be a major hit or miss each game but will provide some big hitting further down the order if needed.
There are plenty of unknowns coming into this opening match of the Afghanistan Premier League as Kabul and Paktia face off in Sharjah. Any team with Rashid Khan is often favoured given his stunning record in T20 competitions but there is plenty of pressure on him. Kabul Zwanan look to have the better balance within their team coming into the tournament but Paktia Panthers have some impressive firepower in their batting line-up making this a fascinating encounter. There are too many unknowns for this opening match so despite the temptation to consider Kabul, this is better left alone.