Rashid Resigns as Afghanistan Captain over T20 World Cup Selection
Rashid Khan has relinquished the captaincy of the Afghanistan senior men’s cricket squad. The leg spinner announced the decision to quit after the ACB had listed the national squad to play in the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in Oman and the UAE in October-November 2021.
Rashid Tweets Disappointment with Team Selection
In his statement on Twitter, Rashid Khan stated,
“The selection committee and ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) have not taken my consent for the team announced by ACB media. As the captain and the person responsible for the nation, I reserve the right to be a part of the team selection. I am deciding to step down from the role of captain of the Afghanistan T20 team with immediate effect.”
Khan posted his tweet immediately after the announcement of the 18-man squad and two backup players by the ACB. The 22-year-old all-rounder did not reveal which selections he disagreed with.
Md Nabi Likely to replace Khan as Captain
Mohammad Nabi is likely to replace Khan as captain of the squad for the World Cup. In July, the ACB named Khan, who is the world’s number one ranked T20 bowler, as captain of the national squad for the World Cup. In 2019, Khan skippered the Afghanistan squad across formats for a brief spell before handing over charge to Asghar Afghan.
Several Veterans Named in Squad for World Cup
The 18-member squad named by the board also includes Najibullah Zabran who was named vice-captain. Injury-prone paceman Hamid Hassan has been named in the squad along with the veterans, wicket-keeper Md Shahzad and Shapoor Zadran. Rashid Khan has also been named in the squad, alongside other all-rounders, Sharafuddin Ashraf and Mohammad Nabi.
Khan’s Resignation Comes in Wake of Cricket Australia Warning
Khan announced his resignation from the captaincy less than 24 hours after Afghanistan’s Taliban government received a warning from Cricket Australia that the one-off Test between Afghanistan and Australia scheduled to be played in Hobart in November 2021 would be cancelled if the Afghanistan government persisted in its policy of banning women from taking part in cricket or other sports events.
Afghanistan Drawn in Group B in World Cup
The T20 World Cup will be held in Oman and the UAE from 17 October to14 November. Placed in Group B, Afghanistan are scheduled to play their first game of the World Cup on 25 October versus one of the two qualifiers. Pakistan, India and New Zealand are other teams placed in group B which also includes two qualifiers, Papua New Guinea and Scotland.
Mohammad Nabi (c), Asghar Afghan, Daulat Zadran Ashraf, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Karim Janat, Mohammad Shahzad, Mujeeb ur Rehman, Najibullah Zadran, Naveen ul Haq, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Rashid Khan, Usman Ghani and Shab Jadran Ashraf Kais Ahmed.
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