Before the start of the 2019 World Cup, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) shocked everyone by appointing Gulbadin Naib as the captain of the national team. Rashid Khan was named the T20I skipper while Rahmat Shah was made the Test captain while Asghar Afghan was axed from the helm for no reason. However, after the debacle at the mega event where Afghanistan failed to win even a single match, the board has named Rashid as the captain of all three formats. Afghanistan team was in the news more for their off-field issues in England and less for their performances on the field.
Mohammad Shahzad was controversially sent back home after the first two matches while there is no clarity over Aftab Alam being sent back ahead of the last couple of matches of the tournament. They dragged the likes of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the World Cup but ended up on the losing side as Naib, at times, crumbled under pressure. Not many were happy with Gulbadin Naib being appointed at the helm including Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi and the critics feel that the performance of the team affected due to the same reason.
Rashid Khan handed the biggest responsibility
According to the reports, ACB has appointed Rashid Khan as Afghanistan captain across all the formats of the game. The board’s decision to go with the split captaincy has been dumped even before being tried. Things didn’t look good in Afghanistan cricket ever since Afghan was removed from captaincy and earlier reports also stated that Afghan will once again be reappointed as the captain of the team.
Rashid wasn’t at his best during the World Cup and was taken for runs especially against England. Though he troubled a couple of teams, the leggie ended with only six wickets to his name. It remains to be seen now if he will be able to handle the captaincy pressure along with his bowling across all the formats. He led Afghanistan before in the ICC World Cup qualifiers last year and will be now looking to do well at the helm. Gulbadin Naib was completely new to the high-pressure cricket at the mega event and the decision to remove experienced Afghan from the captaincy ahead of the World Cup was completely baffling at the first place.