Afghanistan opener Mohammad Shahzad threatens to quit cricket after World Cup axe

Ruben Hill
June 13, 2019

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

"I have no problem or injury & fully fit but @ACBofficials pulled me out of the squad by force without any consultation" Says @MShahzad077 who is ruled out of @cricketworldcup due to a knee injury in his recent voice clip to a media in #Kabul as he is set to return home tomorrow".

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

Afghanistan's captain Gulbadin Naib had called Shahzad's being ruled out a big loss but said that the batsman was struggling with his knee for the last two-three weeks and they were forced to call in teenager Ikram Ali Khil as his replacement.

Unfortunately, Shahzad would not make an appearance for the team against New Zealand on Saturday. This was because, his "knee injury" ruled him out for the remainder of the World Cup. "None of the players in the team bus knew about it and just like me, they were in shock (at the news)". Some people in the board (ACB) have conspired against me. "I am going to consult with friends and family, my heart isn't in cricket anymore". Even the coach (Phil Simmons) found out much later. "It was heart-breaking", Shahzad, 32, told PTI from Kabul.

"He is expected to join the team before the next World Cup game, which will be played against Australia on 15th", SLC said in a statement. If they (ACB) have a problem, they should let me know.

Sri Lanka Cricket said the 35-year-old fast bowler would depart after the match against Bangladesh in Bristol to attend the funeral of Mrs. Kanthi Perera in Colombo on Thursday. However, he was not alone, as majority of the batsmen stumbled. The team will next take on South Africa on June 15.

Shahzad is the highest run scorer for Afghanistan with 2,727 runs from 84 matches at an average of 33.66.

On the other hand, Asadullah Khan refuted Shahzad's claim saying: "It's absolutely wrong to say that he was unfairly dropped". We have given a medical report to the ICC to prove that he is unfit, and after thorough deliberation they allowed us to replace him.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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