Afghanistan skipper Asghar Afghan has been relieved of his duties with the country’s board appointing new captains for all three formats on Friday.
Asghar Afghan had been leading the national team across all three formats previously but the Afghan board have now decided to go the route of split-captaincy for the three formats. Asghar Afghan has been removed from the leadership role with Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan and Rahmat Shah announced as the new skippers for the three formats.
The decision to do so was taken on Friday following a meeting of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) Selection Committee.
It will be 28-year-old all-rounder Gulbadin Naib who will lead the team in the ODI format and thus the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup in England. Leg-spin sensation Rashid Khan will serve as Naib’s deputy in the 50-over format while the 20-year-old will take over as skipper in the T20I format.
ACB Selection Committee announced changes in team Afghanistan's leadership across formats as follows.— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) April 5, 2019
- @GbNaib Captain
- @rashidkhan_19 V. Captain
- @rashidkhan_19 Captain
- @shafaqshinwarai V. Captain
- @RahmatShah_08 Captain
- @Hashmat_50 V.Captain pic.twitter.com/zRRvwgtKFF
Rashid is the No1 ranked T20 bowler in the world and it is the first time that the wrist-spinner has been appointed to a leadership role in the Afghanistan setup. Meanwhile, Shafiqullah Shafaq has taken over as the new vice-captain in the T20I format.
25-year-old all-rounder Rahmat Shah has been announced as the new Test skipper of the side with Hashmatullah Shahidi announced as his deputy.
Afghanistan have played two Tests so far since they were given the Full ICC membership with Shah playing a part in both the matches. The right-handed batsman has scored 198 runs in those two Tests at an average of 48.
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Just 12 hours after helping Mumbai Indians beat defending Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Chennai Super Kings, Lasith Malinga was picking up a seven-wicket haul for Galle in the Super Four Provincial One-Day Tournament in Sri Lanka which began on Thursday.
Malinga had returned with figures of 3-34 on Wednesday at the Wankhede stadium to lead Mumbai’s charge to a 37-run win over Chennai before making the overnight trip back to Sri Lanka to join up with the Galle squad.
Captaining Galle on Thursday against Kandy, the veteran pacer finished with figures of 7-49 to lead his side to a commanding 156-run win in the domestic tournament opener.
Playing across two countries in as many days and picking up 10 wickets speaks volumes of Malinga’s commitment to both the IPL and the Sri Lankan national team.
The 35-year-old had initially been granted permission by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to skip the entire Super Four tournament in favour of playing in the IPL.
However, considering that the domestic tournament will have a bearing on Sri Lanka’s World Cup selections and captaincy candidature, Malinga has decided to make himself available for Galle.
The Super Four Provincial tournament will run until April 11 meaning Malinga could miss Mumbai’s next two IPL fixtures should Galle make the final.
Karanuratne had been arrested and subsequently released on bail on Sunday after he was involved in an accident with a three-wheeler in Colombo which resulted in the driver of the three-wheeler being admitted to the hospital for minor injuries.
Following the episode, the Sri Lanka skipper had taken to Facebook to offer an apology. Now, the 30-year-old has been slapped with a fine equivalent to his match fee for one Test match by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for violating his player contract.
“When you’re preparing for an important competition like the World Cup, and we’re spending so much money on this upcoming (Super Provincial One-Day Cup) domestic tournament, we just cannot tolerate this kind of nonsense,” SLC secretary Mohan de Silva was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“We just want to send a strong message to everyone that we mean business,” he added.
The left-handed opening batsman had only recently led Sri Lanka to a historic 2-0 clean sweep of the Test series in South Africa. It was the first time an Asian side had managed to beat the Proteas in a Test series in their own backyard.
Karunaratne is also reportedly one of the contenders to lead Sri Lanka in the upcoming ODI World Cup in England. He will have a chance to stake his claim when he leads Kandy in the upcoming Super Provincial One-Day Cup which begins on Friday.