Asghar Afghan is the most successful captain of Afghanistan. Shortly before the 2019 World Cup, the Afghanistan Cricket Board abruptly stripped him of his captaincy. Since then there have been many dramas about captaincy. After the defeat of Gulbadin Naib in the World Cup, Afghanistan also followed the path of three captains in three editions. But failure did not leave behind. So Afghanistan cricket went back to that old captain.
Afghanistan also began to succeed again under Afghan rule. Asghar Afghan is one of the best players of all time in terms of success rate as a captain. But he lost to Zimbabwe yesterday. Afghanistan has lost to them in some of the ‘questionable’ decisions of Afghanistan. And that’s why the Afghanistan Cricket Board has again moved away from the decision of one captain in all editions.
For now, the Afghanistan Cricket Board has decided who will lead the Tests and ODIs. Hashmatullah Shahidi, the most regular face of the Tests, has been given the lead in these two formats. Another batsman Rahmat Shah is with him as co-captain. No one has been named as the T20 captain. However, leg-spinner Rashid Khan will remain as the co-captain as before.
Hashmatullah Shahidi became the first Afghan to score a double century in March. Shahidi put up a record 306-run stand in that match against Zimbabwe. Never before has there been a pair of 150 runs in a Test for Afghanistan. Interestingly, Asghar Afghan was Shahid’s partner in that pair. Had he not been bowled out for 164, the Afghans would have made a history of two centuries before Shahidi. It was through the batting prowess of these two that he won the Test and brought Afghanistan to parity in the series. But the first Test of the series has caused trouble for the Afghans.
The first Test of that series in March ended in just two days. Batting first, Afghanistan failed to score 150 runs in two innings. Afghanistan lost by 10 wickets in that Test which was reduced to 131 and 135 runs. And some of the decisions taken by the Afghans in that match are the reason for the team’s rate. The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said in a statement: “Asghar has been stripped of his captaincy on the basis of an investigation report by the ACB. It is learned that Afghanistan lost to Zimbabwe in the first Test of the series in Abu Dhabi in March due to some decisions taken by Afghanistan as captain.
The decision of the Afghanistan Cricket Board to take over the captaincy is not a surprise. Just two months before the 2019 World Cup, the board ruined the team’s environment by snatching the captaincy from the Afghans. Cricketers like Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi publicly protested. But still Gulbadin Naib was given the ODI captaincy. Rashid was made the T20 captain. Young Rahmat Shah was made the Test captain.
Not only was Naib’s ODI captaincy snatched away for the World Cup failure, Rahmat Shah’s Test captaincy was also snatched away without any chance. Rashid Khan was made the captain of all editions. Rashid also brought the first Test victory against Bangladesh. However, in December 2019, Asghar Afghan was brought back as the captain of all formats.
The Afghans, who led Afghanistan in 115 matches, could not last even a year and a half in the new term. Under his leadership, Afghanistan has won 6 matches. As captain, the Afghan holds the world record for leading the most T20 matches (47). However, he had to lose the captaincy again before another World Cup.