A dejected Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons on Wednesday hinted that chief selector Dawlat Ahmadzai had a role in shock removal of Asghar Afghan from captaincy days before the World Cup. Lying at the bottom of the table after losing all of their five matches so far, a blame game has started with Ahmadzai holding the Simmons-led coaching set-up responsible for Afghanistan’s below-par show in the ongoing World Cup.
“I am in the middle of a World Cup and trying to get our team to perform to the level we expect but at the end of the World Cup I will tell the Afghanistan people about the part that Mr. Dawlat Ahmadzai had to play in our preparation and his part in the dismissal of #AsgharAfghan,” Simmons tweeted.
Simmons was reacting to a tweet by an Afghanistan journalist where he wrote that Ahmadzai believes the poor show of the national team was because of lack of preparation on the part of the coaching staff.
In a surprising move, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) named Gulbadin Naib as the limited-overs captain, replacing experienced Asghar Afghan. But the decision didn’t go down well with the team members with senior players like Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan openly questioning the move.
The instability spilled into the tournament in which Afghanistan’s woeful run has seen them sitting at the bottom of the standings with five losses in as many matches. Their most recent defeat came at the hands of hosts England where the latter hit a whopping 25 sixes batting first and star spinner Rashid conceded 110 runs in 9 overs — the most by any bowler in a World Cup match.
The ACB also came in the news when wicket-keeper Mohammad Shahzad, who was ruled out with a knee injury, said that he was not informed of his ouster and accused the ACB of conspiring against him.
Afghanistan is set to play India in their next game on Saturday.
(With PTI Inputs)