Leg spinner Rashid Khan has been appointed as captain of the Afghanistan national team by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) across all the three formats of the game.
Prior to the ICC World Cup 2019, Afghanistan had decided to have split captaincy with Rahmat Shah as Test captain, Gulbadin Naib as the ODI captain while Rashid Khan to be the T20 captain. However, the split captaincy move will not be executed with the ACB deciding to give the responsibility to the 20-year-old Rashid Khan for all the three formats.
Asghar Afghan, who was sacked as captain of the team prior to the World Cup 2019, will be the vice-captain of the Afghanistan team.
The minnows had a disappointing campaign in the World Cup, losing all their nine matches in the league stage. Afghanistan came close to beat neighbours India and Pakistan but its players couldn’t hold their nerves against their experienced counterparts.
The match against Pakistan was disappointing for Afghanistan as they seemed to be heading towards victory as per trends on the Jackpotjoy and other betting sites but for some poor captaincy and bowling from Gulbadin Naib. The medium pacer dished out easy full tosses during the crunch stage of the match to help Pakistan defeat Afghanistan. It looks like Gulbadin Naib has been made to pay price for that with the captaincy stripped off him.
In an interview with BBC Pashto, Gulbadin Naib revealed that Rashid Khan was supposed to be the Afghanistan captain during the World Cup 2019 but the leggie rejected the offer from the ACB.
Despite having a modest World Cup, Rashid Khan has been considered to be a brilliant leg-spinner with an ability to bowl tight spells and come up with crucial breakthroughs that can turn matches in his team’s favour. Rashid Khan is one of the few Afghan cricketers to play in foreign T20 leagues, including the IPL where he has played for the Sunrisers Hyderabad and has come up with some sparkling performances.
On his appointment as the captain of the Afghanistan team, Rashid Khan tweeted: “I would like to thank @ACBofficials for my appointment as captain of Afghanistan National Cricket Team. It’s an honour and privilege to serve Afghanistan in this very important role. Many thanks to @GbNaib for his support and together we will strive to bring success & victories.”
Afghanistan does not have a packed schedule going ahead and will have to wait until November 2019 when they will back playing international cricket through a series against West Indies. Afghanistan will have its home series in India against the Windies, which will have three T20Is, as many ODIs and one Test match, all of them to be played in Dehra Dun in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.