Mohammad Nabi steps down as Afghanistan captain

Mohammad Nabi steps down as Afghanistan captain

Mohammad Nabi has resigned as Afghanistan captain citing his disappointment at the team’s preparation for the T20 World Cup and disagreements with the selectors and management.

Afghanistan’s narrow defeat to Australia in Adelaide on Friday saw them finish the World Cup with three defeats and two no-results, making them the only team to leave the tournament without a win.

Nabi, 37, took over as captain before the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE after Rashid Khan’s own resignation. Nabi had previously also been named captain in 2010, replacing batter Nawroz Mangal.

Rashid announced he had quit the role less than half an hour after the selectors had named their squad for that 2021 event, saying he had not been consulted.

Nabi’s latest tenure lasted 23 completed games, with 10 wins and 13 defeats. Afghanistan won their initial group at the Asia Cup immediately before the T20 World Cup, but then lost all three games at the Super Four stage and have now lost their last six completed matches.

“Our T20 World Cup journey came to an end, with a result that not us nor our supporters were expecting,” Nabi wrote in a statement posted on his Twitter account. “We are as frustrated as you are with the outcome of matches.

“From the last one year, our team preparation was not to a level that a captain would want it or needed for a big tournament. Moreover, in some of the last tours the team management, selection committee and I were not on the same page which had implications on the team balance.

“Therefore, with due respect, effectively immediately I announce to STEP DOWN as a CAPTAIN & will continue to play for my country when the management & team need me.

“I thank every single one of you from the bottom of my heart who came to the grounds despite matches being affected by the rain and those who supporters us worldwide, your love truly means a lot to us. Long live Afghanistan.”

Nabi did not give any indication of his intention to retire when speaking at the post-match presentation and his resignation was not mentioned by Jonathan Trott, Afghanistan’s coach, in the press conference that followed.

Nabi is part of the golden generation of Afghanistan players that helped the team rise through the ranks and finally claim Test status in 2017. He led his country in 28 ODIs and 35 T20Is, making a combined 1023 runs and picking up 47 wickets. Afghanistan won their first ever game of World Cup cricket during his tenure – an ODI against Scotland in 2015. This was on the back of another landmark win, their first one ever against a Test-playing nation, in the 2014 Asia Cup.

Nabi remains one of Afghanistan’s most important players, and a sought-after name in the franchise T20 circuit.

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