The former captain of Afghanistan, Asghar Afghan decided to bid farewell to the sport amid the ongoing T20 World Cup. The 33-year-old retired from all formats of the game after the team’s meeting against Namibia on the weekend, who even gave Asghar Afghan a guard of honour in respect. As a result of which, the event technical committee of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 decided to approve Sharafuddin Ashraf as the former’s replacement in the remainder of Afghanistan’s games.
Now to those who are not aware of Ashraf, he has featured in 26 matches for Afghanistan out of which 9 are T20Is. Moreover, Sharafuddin Ashraf will be available for his team’s selection from the very next encounter against India. Given that the latter side has been struggling in the tournament so far, this slow-arm orthodox spinner can cause tremendous problems whilst bowling under the lights.
The ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) took to their official social media account to make the required announcement. The tweet read, “Breaking: @sharafashraf82 has replaced @MAsgharAfghan in the Afghanistan squad for the T20WC2021. The decision was made following the retirement of Mr. Afghan, as he decided to quit international cricket after the Namibia game.”
Talking about Asghar Afghan, his last contribution for Afghanistan came against Namibia wherein his team won by a massive difference of 62 runs. There is no denying that former Afghan captain has had a huge role in Afghanistan’s development in the sport. Announcing his retirement, Afghan stated, “Most of the people are asking why now and not the end of the tournament, but some things we cannot explain like that. “In the last match (against Pakistan) we were hurt too much, that’s why I’ve decided the time is right to leave the stage. I want to give a chance to the youngsters, this is a good opportunity for the youngsters to come forward.”
Given that Afghanistan could potentially be a win-away from securing their first-ever berth in the knockout stage of any ICC event, it would be interesting to see if Sharafuddin Ashraf gets game-time under his belt against India.