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Rashid Khan steps down as Afghanistan’s captain

Rashid was named Afghanistan captain for the T20 World Cup. Source: Cricinfo/Gettys Images

DUBAI: Rashid Khan resigned has resigned as captain of Afghanistan’s cricket team, claiming he was not consulted by the selectors while finalizing the team for next month’s T20 World Cup.

Afghanistan’s selectors had named Rashid as the captain while veteran wicket-keeper Mohammad Shahzad was also included in the squad. Afasr Zazai and Farid Ahmad Malik were announced as the two standby players. However, moments later, in a stunning development, Rashid Khan announced his decision of stepping down as the captain of the T20 side.

“The selection committee and ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) has not obtained my consent for the team which has been announced by ACB media,” Rashid said in a tweet, moments after the ACB tweeted the 18-member squad and also named two reserve players.

“As the captain and responsible person for the nation I reserve the right to be part of the selection of the team,” Rashid said. “I am taking the decision of stepping down from the role as the captain of Afghanistan T20 side effective immediately.”

Rashid, who is the world’s top-ranked bowler in T20s, was named Afghanistan captain for the T20 World Cup in July. His deputy Najibullah Zadran was included in the 18-member squad.

Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council (ICC) expressed “concern surrounding women’s cricket in Afghanistan following media reports of the Taliban not allowing women to play the sport.

Cricket Australia (CA) also stated that the planned men’s Test match against Afghanistan in November would not go ahead if the country does not support women’s cricket following the Taliban takeover.

“Driving the growth of women’s cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia. Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level,” Cricket Australia said in its official statement.

Australia’s Sport Minister Richard Colbeck said earlier that the Taliban’s decision on women’s sport was “deeply concerning” and he urged organisations such as the International Cricket Council to take action.