Afghan Shahzad threatens to quit cricket after World Cup axing

Paola Ditto
Giugno 13, 2019

He said, "I had finished my training (ahead of the New Zealand game) and only after I checked my phone, I found out that I have been ruled out of the World Cup due to a knee injury".

Mohammad Shahzad, Afghanistan's wicket-keeper batsman and leading run-scorer in One-Day Internationals, has threatened to quit worldwide cricket after claiming that he was incorrectly declared unfit by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and omitted from the ongoing World Cup squad.

In the build up to the major event, Shahzad picked up a left knee injury, which got aggravated during the warm-up against Pakistan.

The 32-year-old Shahzad, who has been replaced by Ikram Alikhil, played Afghanistan's first two matches against Australia and Sri Lanka but the recurrence of a knee injury saw him being omitted from the squad. In the two matches that he did play, he was out for a three-ball duck against Australia, and made 7 off 12 against Sri Lanka.

"It's absolutely wrong to say that he was unfairly dropped", the chief executive stated in an interview. "He is our main batsman, who can make a big difference with the bat, and it was a really hard decision to drop one of our key players", Asadullah was quoted as saying.

Asadullah explained that since attaining full membership, Afghanistan had increased their focus on fitness. "Now that we are full members, our priority will be on fitness, in global and domestic cricket", he said.

Moreover, Asadullah was clear cut in saying that the team carrying "unfit players" isn't acceptable anymore.

Meanwhile, Shahzad once again speaks to the reporters and quoted that he would retire from the game of cricket if ACB doesn't willing to play him again.

After Shahzad's return to Afghanistan, he went on a verbal war and spoke to local media. The wicket keeper batsman accused officials of the ACB for conspiring against him. I went to a doctor in London and he. said that I could play after resting for two to three days.

Only manager, doctor and the captain knew that I was going to be replaced. The doctor looked at me helplessly and said he couldn't do anything. "None of the players in the team bus knew about it and just like me, they were in shock (at the news),". The team played with new openers in the game against New Zealand, where they gave a good start but failed to capitalise on it. Under the current dispensation at ACB, I see more senior players getting a raw deal like I did.

Shahzad is now an emotional wreck and he went down the memory lane to 2015 when he wasn't selected in the World Cup squad.

His revelations are going to add further turmoil to the contingent, who are struggling in the ongoing World Cup. "My heart isn't in cricket anymore".

Shahzad is no stranger to controversy, despite having been a pivotal figure in Afghanistan's extraordinary journey through the ranks to Test status.

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