The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) have announced that star leg-spinner Rashid Khan has been appointed as the new captain for all three formats. Rashid replaces Gulbadin Naib, who was in charge of the team during the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Ex-captain Asghar Afghan was also named as the vice-captain.
On April 5th, Afghanistan surprised the cricketing world by appointing Gulbadin Naib as captain for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Rahmat Shah and Rashid Khan were also given the leadership roles for Test and T20 formats respectively.
At that point, it was seen as a very unnecessary and disruptive change considering that Asghar Afghan, who lead the side for the previous three years had built up a good record and reputation. Afghan-led Afghanistan in 56 ODIs and won 31 of them to maintain a good win percentage of 59.43.
Now with this latest Rashid Khan appointment as captain for all formats, Rahmat Shah has effectively been sacked even before playing a test match. This reaction from ACB comes on the back of a poor performance from the Gulbadin Naib-led Afghanistan team in the World Cup. The up and coming nation went on to lose all of their 9 matches.
The world No. 8 ODI and No. 1 T20 bowler, Rashid Khan has previous experience of leading the national team during the ICC World Cup qualifiers last year. Out of the 4 matches where he stood in as captain for an injured Asghar Afghan, Afghanistan lost 3 of them as the team almost missed out on qualifying for the 2019 World Cup.
It was when Asghar Afghan returned to the side against Ireland in a crucial 'Super Six' stage that Afghanistan started to play to the best of their ability and eventually went on to beat West Indies in the final.
Rashid's first assignment as captain will come against Bangladesh when Afghanistan will play a one-off test starting from September 6. This test match will be followed by a tri-nation T20 series between hosts Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.Published 12 Jul 2019, 18:01 IST