England captain Eoin Morgan says "no stone has been left unturned" ahead of their clash against Afghanistan.

Eoin Morgan vows England are ready for Afghanistan side seeking major T20 scalp

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Eoin Morgan insists England have done their homework on an Afghanistan side striving both for recognition and a major scalp at the World Twenty20.

The two teams might have met just twice before in international cricket, most recently at last year's World Cup, but the days of unknown quantities are disappearing rapidly.

Afghanistan can rightly feel aggrieved at their lack of fixtures against Test-playing nations and the shrinking opportunities at future global events but they can perhaps take a measure of comfort that nobody utters the word 'minnow' in their direction anymore.

Morgan, who started his career on the other side of the associate debate with his native Ireland, rejected suggestions that England would view the clash in Delhi as a chance to bolster their net run-rate and will instead focus on the win they need to stay in semi-final contention.

"Our priority is on winning, this is a big game and we are certainly not taking Afghanistan for granted," he said.

"First and foremost we need to go into that game with the right mindset. Focusing on anything else at the moment, given that there are two group games left, would be a little bit na?ve - actually stupid."

The Afghanistan Cricket Board was only established in 1995, forged in the refugee camps of Pakistan, but the national side arrived in India this month sitting ninth in the ICC's T20 rankings, ahead of full members Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Having qualified for the Super 10s they lost to Sri Lanka and South Africa but on both occasions competed well enough to suggest they are ready to deliver a bloody nose.

And Morgan's men must make sure they are not on the receiving end.

"They're a dangerous side and play a really exciting brand of cricket," he said.

"Ten years ago we might not have known much about them, but now that is the nature of modern sport. We know a lot about them now and that is quite comforting, the fact that there's no stone that's left unturned.

"We watched the early stages of the tournament and they played some really good cricket and we watched the games against Sri Lanka and South Africa in different circumstances.

"Winning one of these games will be their ultimate objective.

"If you keep missing, it's fine, but the opportunity along the way will come. If you have your day, you might win a game. That's certainly was the attitude when I was a part of Ireland."

Afghanistan want more than kind words and platitudes, though.

They want the ICC to drop plans to restrict the 2019 to just 10 teams, a plan that threatens to stifle associate growth at source, and for major nations to schedule more regular fixtures with them outside of tournaments.

Their cause has been taken up on Twitter by luminaries such as Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Michael Vaughan in recent days and Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai took the chance to push the cause.

"It is a source of great pride for us to hear such things from the cricket legends. We definitely need the support of the ICC for the upcoming World Cup," he said.

"These comments need to be looked at by the ICC. We are eager to play in each and every World Cup and we have requested full members to play series with us.

"We have good domestic cricket, good infrastructure, a stadium being built and an academy. We want to play more series.

"People now see 'this is a side that can beat us'. They are really preparing and planning and worrying.

"We are here to beat a full member and we have the ability to beat any of them."

There was further support from Morgan, who hinted he would be willing to see Afghanistan incorporated into bilateral tours in the future.

"Associate nations are key in evolving our sport and giving them as much opportunities as we can," he said.

"I can see a time when we do play tri-series against different sides and not necessarily with our strongest side, but with as good a side as we can at the time and giving some guys a bit of a break. I see that coming down the line."

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