Asghar Afghan Sacked As Afghanistan's All-Format Skipper As Board Opts For Split-Captaincy; New Captain Announced

Asghar Afghan Sacked As Afghanistan’s All-Format Skipper As Board Opts For Split-Captaincy; New Captain Announced

Asghar Afghan
Asghar Afghan. Image-PTI

The musical chairs with the captaincy in the Afghanistan cricket team continue as now the all-format skipper, Asghar Afghan has been sacked by the board across formats following their loss to Zimbabwe.

On Monday, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced that they will be employing split-captaincy in their cricket team. Senior middle-order batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi has been named the new ODI and Test captain, with Rahmat Shah as his deputy. The T20I captain hasn’t been named yet, but superstar leg-spinner Rashid Khan will remain vice-captain of that side.

Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rahmat Shah, and Rashid Khan
Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rahmat Shah, and Rashid Khan. Image-ACB

Some of Asghar Afghan’s decisions as the captain resulted in loss to Zimbabwe: ACB

The board, in the released statement, cited that some of his captaincy decisions in the loss to Zimbabwe in the first Test – a series which they leveled in the second Test – as the reason for the 33-year-old’s sacking.

“The decision to remove Asghar Afghan from captaincy was taken based on an investigation conducted by ACB’s Investigative committee which concluded that some of Afghan’s decisions as the captain of the team resulted in Afghanistan’s loss to Zimbabwe in the first Test of the series between both sides in Abu Dhabi in March,” an ACB media release stated.

Asghar Afghan and Hashmatullah Shahidi
Asghar Afghan and Hashmatullah Shahidi. Image-Twitter

Asghar Afghan’s axing, however, isn’t a complete surprise as the board hasn’t been able to fix on its leaders on the field.

In May 2019, the ACB took the captaincy from Asghar Afghan, just two months before the 2019 World Cup, splitting the role among Gulbadin Naib (ODIs), Rashid Khan (T20Is), and Rahmat Shah (Tests).

After a winless World Cup campaign Naib was sacked and replaced by Khan across formats. Then in December 2019, Asghar Afghan was brought back for a second stint at the helm, which now is terminated, a few months ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Following the T20 World Cup, Afghanistan will tour Australia for a one-off Test, their first against Tim Paine’s side.