World Cup 2019: Mohammad Shahzad’s controversial exit will not affect the team, feels Gulbadin Naib
Afghanistan have another problem in the injury of Rashid Khan, their star spinner.
Updated - Mar 12, 2020 5:22 pm
Afghanistan came to the ICC World Cup 2019 with the hope of staging a few upsets but they are yet to do their first. Meanwhile, the dumping of their bashing wicket-keeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad owing to a knee injury has caused some tension in the camp with the burly cricketer lashing out at his own country’s board. Shahzad played in Afghanistan’s first two games against Australia and Sri Lanka but was not in the XI in the tie versus New Zealand. Young keeper Ikram Ali Khil replaced in the match.
Shahzad was upset with the decision to exclude him from the Afghanistan side saying he was fit to play in a few days’ time after having his knee drained. He had even turned emotional while facing the media after returning to Kabul. The board, on the other hand, said the team could not compromise with the fitness of a player and has informed the ICC about Shahzad’s fitness. Shahzad is Afghanistan’s highest scorer in one-day internationals with over 2.7k runs.
Will the issue continue to haunt Afghanistan for the rest of the tournament? The team is set to play South Africa in an all-important tie in Cardiff on Saturday. Neither of the two sides has won a game yet in this World Cup and another loss here would almost put the loser out of the fray. South Africa have one point from four games with one wash-out while Afghanistan are languishing at the bottom of the table with no points from three matches.
Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib said ahead of the day-night clash against the Proteas that he didn’t want to dwell on the issue and that the team was looking forward.
‘We have good youngsters on the team’
“Obviously we missed Shahzad. We have good youngsters on the team now on the side, so we’re excited for the next game,” Latest cited reports quoting Naib.
Afghanistan have another problem in the injury of Rashid Khan, their star spinner. He was hit by a bouncer from pacer Lockie Ferguson in the game against New Zealand in Taunton and did not bowl. He was expected to appear in the game against South Africa.