Asghar Afghan Is Still My Captain: Gulbuddin Naib

Afghanistan Captain Gulbuddin Naib, who was given the leadership duty for ODI cricket in early April, replacing Asghar Afghan, said Afghan is still his captain.

“Asghar Afghan is still my captain. We played our last few games against Ireland and Scotland, and he helped me a lot. He guided me. He is not just another player for me, he is still my campaign right now,” Naib said as quoted by ICC.

Afghanistan Cricket Board removed Afghan as the national team’s captain and named three different captains across three formats.

Naib was given the charge for ODI while Rahmat Shah and googly master Rashid Khan were named as captains for Test and T20I respectively.

The decision on split captaincy for the national team was criticized by some members of the team including all-rounder Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, himself.

Naib said the captain can be anyone, but the team has one goal and that is playing for their country and bringing more pride to their nation.

“I want support from him. Not just him, but (Mohammad) Nabi, Rashid (Khan) and all the guys who have a lot of experience. All of us have one goal: we want to play for Afghanistan and play as a team, whoever the captain is,” he said.

Naib also expressed his excitement over leading the team in the premier tournament, saying that it is a big opportunity for him.

“I am thrilled to lead the team in front of the whole world. I remember our last appearance in the World Cup in 2015. I just played one game and I was really excited just to be part of the squad. Now, the ACB has announced me as the captain for this World Cup. It is a big opportunity for me,” he added.

Naib said the Afghan squad are performing much better compared to the past.

“Compared to the last two-three years, we have a much better side now. We have world-class spinners like Rashid, Nabi and Mujeeb (Zadran), and in the batting department, we have guys like (Mohammad) Shahzad and Rahmat Shah,” he concluded.

Afghanistan will face Pakistan in their first warm-up match on Friday.

The national team will face Australia in their first World Cup 2019 match on June 1.

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