Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi and bowler Rashid Khan have lashed out at the Afghanistan Cricket Board's (ACB) recent decision to sack Asghar Afghan as the captain of the national side across the three formats of the game, saying the timing was not correct.
Less than two months before the commencement of the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup, Asghar was removed as the captain of the Afghanistan cricket team and the country's cricket board opted for 'split captaincy'.
While all-rounder Gulbadin Naib was named as the new ODI skipper of Afghanistan, Rahmat Shah and Rashid Khan will take over the reins of Test and T20I sides, respectively.
But the decision did not go well with the biggest names in Afghanistan cricket as Nabi and Rashid took to their social media handles to criticize the decision.
Nabi insisted that the national cricket team has gelled extremely well under the captaincy of Asghar and, therefore, he is the right man to lead the side in the ICC World Cup.
"Being a senior member of the side & having seen the rise of Afghanistan cricket @ashrafghani I don’t think it’s the right time to change the captain before the WC @afgexecutive The team has gelled really well under #Asghar & personally feel he is the right man to lead us @hmohib," Nabi tweeted.
Rashid, on the other hand, also strongly opposed the decision of Afghanistan's selection committee and called the move as "irresponsible and biased".
"With all the respect to the Selection Committee, I strongly disagree with the decision as it is irresponsible & bias. As we have @cricketworldcup in front of us, Captain #MAsgharAfghan should remain as our team Captain. His captaincy is highly instrumental for team success. With just months to go for such a mega event like World Cup, changing the captain will cause uncertainty and also team morale will be affected. @ashrafghani @afgexecutive @hmohib," he wrote on Twitter.
Reflecting on the board's decision to make changes in the captaincy, ACB chairman Azizullah Fazli said that they wanted to "introduce change in leadership" so that their side could compete better against nine Full Members in the upcoming showpiece event.
Asghar took over the charge of the national side in all formats of the game after Mohammad Nabi resigned from the captaincy following the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
It was under the 31-year-old's leadership that Afghanistan became a full member of the ICC and qualified for the 2019 World Cup with a win over West Indies in the final of the tournament qualifiers in 2018 in Zimbabwe.
Asghar also guided Afghanistan to their historic maiden Test victory over Ireland in Dehradun.
Afghanistan will kickstart their campaign at the 2019 ICC World Cup against Australia on June 1.