Ace spinner Rashid Khan has stepped down as captain of the Afghanistan cricket team with immediate effect. The leg-spinner posted the announcement on social media moments after Afghanistan announced their squad for the T20 World Cup 2021.

The 22-year-old, appointed as captain of the T20I side in July this year, was named as skipper of the team that would take part in the T20 World Cup but announced his withdrawal, stating the selection committee and ACB did not obtain his consent for the team which has been announced by ACB media.

"As the captain and responsible person for the nation, I deserve the right to be part of the selection of the team. The selection committee and ACB has not obtained my consent for the team which has been announced by ACB media. I am taking the decision of stepping down from the role as captain of the Afghanistan T20 side effective immediately,"  Rashid wrote on his official Twitter handle.  

The 18-member squad announced by Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) earlier included senior players like Hamid Hassan, Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran and Mohammad Shahzad, who have not been part of the national setup for over a year. The selection of the quartet did not go well with Rashid Khan who is believed to have not been approached during the selection process. 

"He [Rashid] was not happy with the squad because too many old guys have been picked. When he saw the squad, he was angry and he stepped down.

Following Rashid Khan’s stepping down, Afghanistan announced all-rounder Mohammed Nabi would lead the team in the T20 World Cup 2021.

"Now he will not lead the side. All this happened within a few hours, the announcement of the squad, stepping down of Rashid and appointment of Mohammed Nabi as the new captain. Our acting chairman did all things forcefully. Rashid was angry that why selection criteria of fitness, performance and discipline were not considered." an ACB spokesperson was quoted saying to Cricbuzz.

Afghanistan are drawn in Group 2 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 and play their first match in Sharjah on October 25 against one of the qualifying teams. 

Afghanistan squad for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021

Rashid Khan, Rahmatullah Gurbaz, Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi (captain), Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Shahzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Naveen Ul Haq, Hamid Hassan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Qais Ahmad.

Reserve players: Afsar Zazai, Farid Ahmad Malik. 

Featured photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP