Afghanistan anger stars by switching captain before World Cup

By Sports Desk April 05, 2019

Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi have criticised the decision to end Asghar Afghan's stint as Afghanistan captain ahead of the Cricket World Cup.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has brought Afghan's four-year captaincy across all three formats to a close, naming Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib and 20-year-old Rashid as the new skippers in Tests, ODIs and Twenty20s respectively.

The move comes less than two months before the start of Afghanistan's second World Cup campaign in England and Wales.

"The World Cup provides us with the opportunity to play against nine full members," ACB chairman Azizullah Fazli told ESPNcricinfo. "We thought it is a good time to introduce a change in leadership."

But young star Rashid and veteran Nabi - Afghan's predecessor, who captained the side at the 2015 tournament - are both unhappy with the call.

Rashid said in a Twitter post: "With all the respect to the selection committee, I strongly disagree with the decision as it is irresponsible and bias.

"As we have the Cricket World Cup in front of us, captain Asghar Afghan should remain as our team captain. His captaincy is highly instrumental for team success.

"With just months to go for such a mega event like the World Cup, changing the captain will cause uncertainty and also team morale will be affected."

Nabi, who shared Rashid's message, added in his own post: "Being a senior member of the side and having seen the rise of Afghanistan cricket, I don't think it's the right time to change the captain before the World Cup.

"The team has gelled really well under Asghar and I personally feel he is the right man to lead us."

Afghan, Nabi and Rashid were all included in a 23-man party for Afghanistan's training camp in South Africa, with the deadline for final World Cup squads to be named on April 23.

Afghanistan begin their campaign against Australia in Bristol on June 1.

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