Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad blessed with a baby boy

Shahzad, who played Afghanistan’s first two games against Australia and Sri Lanka, was dropped from the team mid-way through the tournament.

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Mohammad Shahzad
Mohammad Shahzad. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

His looks might be deceptive but Afghanistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad’s ability to excite the supporters with his willow is never questioned. The 32-year-old started playing in the ICC World Cup 2019 in England but was ruled out after playing two games because of a knee injury. The matter snowballed into a major controversy with the burly cricketer even accusing the Afghanistan Cricket Board of conspiring against him and dropping him from the squad despite being in fine shape.

Shahzad, who played Afghanistan’s first two games against Australia and Sri Lanka, picked up his knee injury during a warm-up match against Pakistan ahead of the mega event. And after two disappointing outings in the first two matches in which he scored zero and seven, Shahzad was dropped as he was reportedly ruled out of the rest of the tournament because of the injury. The cricketer was so disappointed with the decision that he couldn’t even control his tears. He said later that even the coach of the team, Phil Simmons, had no information that he was going to be dropped.

However, a good news awaited Shahzad days after the unfortunate incident as he turned father of a baby boy. This life event will certainly boost the disheartened man who might not find another opportunity to play in the World Cup. Shahzad has six ODI hundreds in 84 games.

Ikram Ali Khil replaced Shahzad

Even Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib said it was a big loss that Shahzad would no more feature in the World Cup. He though conceded that Shahzad was indeed struggling with his knee for a while. Ikram Ali Khil was roped in as his replacement in the team. Ali Khil, 18, did not impress much in the game against New Zealand, scoring just two runs.

The Afghanistan board negated Shahzad’s claim saying a proper fitness report about him had been submitted to the International Cricket Council and that Afghanistan could not compromise on a player’s fitness.

Afghanistan are yet to win a game in the World Cup and have lost to Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. They play South Africa in a must-win game in Cardiff on Saturday.

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