Mohammad Shahzad has entered into a tussle with the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) after he was left out of the national squad for the 2019 World Cup. He was suffering from a knee injury and hence was sidelined. However, the 32-year-old Shahzad reckons that he was completely fit and a few members of the board have conspired against him and pulled him out of the mega event.
He played only a couple of matches in the tournament versus Australia and Sri Lanka in which he could only manage seven runs. After returning to Kabul, the wicketkeeper-batsman mentioned that he got to know about his omission after he completed a training session prior to the Afghans’ third encounter versus Kane Williamson’s New Zealand on Saturday, June 8 in Taunton.
In the meantime, ACB chief executive, Asadullah Khan said that there was no foul play in the exclusion of the Nangarhar-born cricketer. As per Shahzad’s medical report submitted, he has a mild ACL strain on his left knee. Asadullah also remarked that Shahzad is one of their main batsmen and it was a tough decision to drop him.
“It’s absolutely wrong to say that he was unfairly dropped. We have given a medical report to the ICC to prove that he is unfit, and after thorough deliberation they allowed us to replace him. He is our main batsman, who can make a big difference with the bat, and it was a really difficult decision to drop one of our key players,” Asadullah was quoted as saying.
Moreover, Asadullah was clear cut in saying that the team carrying ‘unfit players’ isn’t acceptable anymore. “Now that we are full members, our priority will be on fitness, in international and domestic cricket. We can’t carry unfit players. We understand Shahzad was not fully fit when he still went on to play two games and this is not acceptable anymore,” he added.
I have no problem or injury
Shahzad’s exclusion was expected to create a massive void in the Afghanistan batting lineup. Khil also played his first World Cup match against Sri Lanka. Noor Ali Zadran opened the batting along with Hazratullah Zazai in that game. In the meantime, Shahzad has made a startling revelation and said that he has been forcefully pulled out of the squad and there’s no issue surrounding his fitness.
He also said that the Afghanistan Cricket Board (AACB) officials didn’t talk to him before removing him. A popular journalist by the name of M.Ibrahim Momand posted Shahzad’s message on his official Twitter handle. The tweet also mentioned that Shahzad is set to return home.
“I have no problem or injury & fully fit but @ACBofficials pulled me out of the squad by force without any consultation,”Says @MShahzad077 who is ruled out of @cricketworldcup due to a knee injury in his recent voice clip to a media in #Kabul as he is set to return home tomorrow.”