On Friday, away from the action of the Champions Trophy in England, West Indies and Afghanistan meet in the first of three one-day internationals.
West Indies are the Lost Boys of international cricket. They really should be at the Champions Trophy but because their performances have been so poor in the last 12 months they have slipped out of the top eight rankings. It is the first ICC global tournament the Caribbean collective has missed.
Afghanistan are the New Boys. They made everyone smile in the World T20 and they have some seriously good players, notably Rashid Khan, the spinner, and Mohammad Nabi, the spinning all-rounder. Both these two had terrific IPLs.
Indeed, Rashid is one of the most sought-after T20 players in the world. Mainly because of his youth. But there is no way he is 18. Come on, he bowls like a 28-year-old and his mug shot makes him look a couple of years older than that.
The Windies, as they are affectionately known (although the moniker is more apt for some courage-less performances), are -345 with BetVictor. Afghanistan are +300. The latter is a price worth taking.
It is has been bumped up a bit because West Indies won the three-match T20 series with a sweep. But there is very little to get excited about in their squad in terms of quality.
The difference between the two teams was Marlon Samuels. He notched 146 runs and was a cut above. So what do West Indies do? They drop him.
There are some other useful bets to have for game one. Chiefly, to follow the two Afghans who are themselves a cut above.
Nabi is +600 with Bet365 for top runscorer honors while Rashid is +1200 with the same firm to be man of the match. Nabi is +1600. Indeed, backing those two at those prices consistently throughout the series could well pay out as a monster winner.
If you want to be a Windies star, you could do worse than Shannon Gabriel, whose brand of bowling could unsettle the Afghans as they have not seen much of his type before. He is +1600 with Bet365.
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