Afghanistan stars Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan have lashed out at Afghanistan selection committee after their surprising decision to sack Asghar Afghan as captain of the team. With less than two months remaining before Afghanistan play just their second World Cup, the selectors dropped a major bombshell by sacking the captain. In what could be called an ill-timed decision, they decided to end Asghar’s four-year stint as captain of the Afghanistan team across the three formats.
The selectors have now handed the leadership to Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib and Rashid Khan in the Test, ODI and T20I teams respectively. The decision is a surprising one not only because of its timing but also because of Afghanistan’s performance in the last few years. Under Asghar Afghan’s captaincy, Afghanistan played 56 ODIs, 46 T20Is and two Test matches. He recently led Afghanistan to their first Test win, against Ireland. Under Asghar, Afghanistan won 31 ODIs and 37 T20Is.
Perhaps the selectors were looking at the future as all the three captains are under 30. Rashid is 20, Rahmat 25 and Naib 28 while Asghar turned 31 in December last year. But the timing of the decision has not gone down well with Nabi and Rashid as they publicly expressed their displeasure. Both Rashid and Nabi, who are currently in India for the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), took to Twitter to criticise the decision of removing Asghar Afghan from the helm.
“Being a senior member of the side & having seen the rise of Afghanistan cricket @ashrafghani I don’t think it’s the right time to change the captain before the WC @afgexecutive The team has gelled really well under #Asghar & personally feel he is the right man to lead us @hmohib,” wrote Nabi.
Rashid, on the other hand, clearly said that he ‘strongly’ disagrees with the decision to replace Asghar, calling it biased and irresponsible. He also opined that Asghar should remain the captain keeping in mind the World Cup,
“With all the respect to the Selection Committee, I strongly disagree with the decision as it is irresponsible & bias. As we have @cricketworldcup in front of us, Captain #MAsgharAfghan should remain as our team Captain. His captaincy is highly instrumental for team success ,” wrote Rashid.
“With just months to go for such a mega event like World Cup, changing the captain will cause uncertainty and also team morale will be affected. @ashrafghani @afgexecutive @hmohib,” he added.