Leg-spinner Rashid Khan has been appointed as the captain of Afghanistan cricket team for all three formats. Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) confirmed that Rashid will lead the national side in all formats. Asghar Afghan will be vice-captain of the side as announcement made on Friday.
ACB made wholesale changes prior to the World Cup and sacked Asghar Afghan from captaincy in all three formats. Gulbadin Naib was appointed captain of the side for ICC Cricket World Cup.
Rashid Khan was set to lead the side in the T20 format while premier batsman Rahmat Shah was scheduled to lead the side in the five-day format. There was another twist in the tale as Cricket Board decided to give opportunity to leg-spinner Rashid Khan to lead the side in all three formats.
Afghanistan endured a tough time in the 2019 Cricket World Cup and finished last in the league table with nine defeats to their name. Naib lacked tactical acumen to help Afghanistan win games against top quality teams like India and Pakistan. He was not that impressive with the bat and produced average numbers in the competition.
Before Naib’s sudden appointment, Asghar Afghan led Afghanistan to register 31 victories in limited-overs cricket and win 37 games out of 46 T20 matches. He also led Afghanistan to register their maiden Test win against Ireland earlier this year. Since 2009, Afghan has been regular member of the side in the ODIs and T20s. He has been a bankable performer for the side in the batting department.
Several players raised eyebrows when Afghan was unceremoniously sacked from captaincy before the Cricket World Cup. Wicket-keeper Mohammad Shahzad was forcibly sent back despite being fit and available for the showpiece event. Aftab Alam was dropped from the squad during the competition which led to many believe that all was not well in the Afghanistan Cricket Board.
Rashid Khan’s first assignment as captain will be taking on Bangladesh in a one-off Test that will be played in September followed by tri-series featuring Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. The side will play a home series against West Indies and is scheduled to play three T20s, three ODIs and one-off Test from 5th November to 1st December.