The captaincy change resulted in Afghanistan losing all their games in 2019 World Cup: Karim Sadiq
Gulbadin Naib was named the captain right before the World Cup, even after the team had performed well under Asghar Afghan.
Updated - Jun 23, 2020 3:14 pm
Afghanistan has had a fairy tale journey in international cricket for the past few years. The team has done exceedingly well in ODIs and T20Is and challenged better opposition every now and then. This had also helped them get a Test-playing nation’s recognition along with Ireland.
One of the highest points in Afghanistan cricket till date will be winning ICC World Cup Qualifiers in 2018. That win helped the Afghanistan team to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, ahead of teams like Ireland, Netherlands and Zimbabwe. This was an achievement for them after the bad start, they had to the tournament. However, the Asian team couldn’t replicate their performance in the main event.
Afghanistan lost all their nine matches in the World Cup in England last year. However, the team led by Gulbadin Naib lost several close matches and had fought well throughout the tournament. Afghanistan cricketer Karim Sadiq reflected upon this loss of the team during an interaction with CricTracker.
Not a good thing to change captain before an ICC mega event: Karim Sadiq
The cricketer pointed out the change in captaincy which had caused some issues in the dressing room. According to Sadiq, the decision had led to a place where the team was divided into two.
“Firstly, I would like to say that it’s not a good thing to change captain before an ICC mega event. Surely, there was someone’s hand in it. They went as one team to World Cup but they were divided into two during the WC because of captaincy controversy and that resulted in Afghanistan losing all their games in the tournament.
We could’ve reached semi-final if we had won the close games. We lost many close games in the league stage,” Sadiq told host Adarsh Raman during Instagram Live with CricTracker.
Naib was named the captain of the side abruptly before the World Cup. He replaced Asghar Afghan, who was the captain of the side since 2015. This decision had not gone done well with senior players, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan. The duo had publicly criticised the decision of the Afghanistan board.
After a horrible World Cup campaign, where they lost matches which they should have won, Khan was named the captain. Eventually, the leg-spinner was relieved of the duty as Asghar Afghan was brought back as the skipper.
Another incident which sparked controversy during Afghanistan’s World Cup campaign was regarding wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad. He was the side’s opening batsman and one of the key members but he was announced unfit after an injury. However, the cricketer claimed that Afghanistan Cricket Board forcefully declared him unfit, even though he could have played. Sadiq also shed light on this matter.
“In my opinion, Mohammad Shahzad had an injury during the World Cup. The way he was playing in the tournament with an injury, captain, the coach then suggested him to go back to Afghanistan,” Sadiq further revealed during the interaction.