Afghanistan’s star leg-spinner Rashid Khan has stepped down as the national T20 team’s captain shortly after the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced its team for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in the UAE and Oman in October-November.
Rashid announced his decision few minutes after his country confirmed their World Cup squad late on Thursday (September 9).
“The selection committee and ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) has not obtained my consent for the team which has been announced by ACB media,” Rashid Khan said in a statement on social media.
“As the captain and responsible person for the nation I reserve the right to be part of the selection of the team. I am taking the decision of stepping down from the role as the captain of Afghanistan T20 side effective immediately,” he added.
After the development, Mohammad Nabi is likely to be appointed the captain for the showpiece event.
Afghanistan will kick-off the campaign in Sharjah on October 25 against one of two of the qualifying teams in Group B. Afghanistan will also face India, New Zealand and Pakistan in the group stage.
Earlier on Thursday, Cricket Australia (CA) had issued a statement stating that it would be unable to proceed with the planned one-off Test against Afghanistan at Hobart from November 27 if news reports of Taliban not allowing women’s cricket was true.
“Driving the growth of women’s cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia. Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level,” CA said.
“If recent media reports that women’s cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match due to be played in Hobart,” it added.
Recently, a spokesman for the Taliban government’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, had told Australian broadcaster SBS News that cricket was not permitted for women under Islamic law.
In a statement released on Wednesday night, the ICC had expressed concern over Taliban’s stand on women’s cricket.
“The ICC is committed to the long-term growth of women’s cricket and despite the cultural and religious challenges in Afghanistan, steady progress has been made in this area since Afghanistan’s admission as a Full Member in 2017,” the ICC statement said.
“The ICC has been monitoring the changing situation in Afghanistan and is concerned to note recent media reports that women will no longer be allowed to play cricket,” it added.
Afghanistan T20 Squad:
Rashid Khan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Shahzad, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Naveen ul Haq, Hamid Hassan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran and Qais Ahmed.
Afsar Zazai and Farid Ahmed Malik.