“With just months to go for such a mega event like the World Cup, changing the captain will cause uncertainty and also team morale will be affected,” said Rashid, who was made Twenty20 captain. “Asghar should remain as our team captain. His captaincy is highly instrumental for team success.”
Former captain Nabi supported Rashid’s views publicly on social media.
“I don’t think it’s the right time to change the captain before the WC. The team has gelled really well under Ashgar & personally feel he is the right man to lead us,” tweeted Nabi.
Afghanistan’s former coach Kabir Khan said the change could have a negative impact on the team.
“The change is political,” Kabir told AFP. “Had they wanted a change, it should have been done after the World Cup. I feel the change will definitely affect Afghanistan as both Naib and Asghar will be under pressure.”
Kabir, who oversaw Afghanistan’s swift rise as a force in international cricket, is confident that despite the upheaval, the Afghans will not lose their battling qualities.
“I don’t think their fighting spirit will be any less but a new captain will find it tough,” he said.
With the return of fast bowler Hamid Hasan, Afghanistan’s attack has more venom. But their hopes lie with Rashid, Mujeeb and Nabi, who have been the key men in recent years, helping Afghanistan make it through the qualifying competition in Zimbabwe last year.
Asghar, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari and Nabi form a strong batting line up but must adjust to unfamiliar English conditions. The first task though for the new captain will be to rally the troops after the change in command.
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