T20 World Cup 2021: Rashid Khan steps down as Afghanistan captain with immediate effect

Rashid’s was named Afghanistan’s T20I skipper in July this year.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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Moments after Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced the 18-member squad for the T20 World Cup 2021, Rashid Khan took to Twitter to announce his decision to relinquish his captaincy with immediate effect.

“As the captain and responsible person for the nation, I reserve the right to be part of the selection of the team.

“The selection committee and ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) has not obtained my consent for the team which has been announced by ACB media. I am taking the decision of stepping down from the role as captain of Afghanistan T20 side effective immediately.

“It’s always my pride playing for Afghanistan.” Rashid Khan said in a statement on social media.

Rashid was named Afghanistan’s T20I skipper in July this year, with Najibullah Zadran named as his deputy. Notably, Rashid had explicitly expressed his unwillingness to take up the role as he felt the burden of captaincy would affect his game.

“I am very much clear in my mind that I am better off as a player. I am good in the role as vice-captain and help the captain wherever I am needed. It’s better for me that I stay away from this position. I am afraid it might affect my performance for the team which is a key so I am very happy as a player and whatever the decision board and selection committee make I am fully behind it and will appreciate it,” Rashid had said while speaking to ESPNcricinfo last month.

Rashid’s stepping down from the post comes at a time when Afghanistan cricket is in tatters owing to the Taliban takeover in the country, with a potential threat of derecognition by ICC looming over the ACB owing to the uncertain future of the Afghanistan women team.

Afghanistan, who are set to travel to Australia to play a one-off Test, received a major setback earlier on September 9, when Cricket Australia stated that they would be forced to cancel the affair if the media reports regarding Afghanistan’s women team’s future are true.

“Driving the growth of women’s cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia. Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level,” Cricket Australia said in its official statement.

“If recent media reports that women’s cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match due to be played in Hobart.