Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi said he was quite “shocked” after Asghar Afghan informed him about his decision to retire from international cricket after their match against Namibia in the middle of the T20 World Cup 2021. Former skipper Afghan, who holds the record of most T20I wins as captain, announced his decision to retire from all forms of cricket on Saturday night, less than 24 hours after Afghanistan’s heartbreaking loss to Pakistan in the previous match. “Last night, he (Asghar Afghan) told me that tomorrow would be my last game and I was shocked,” Nabi said during the post-match presentation.
“It was his decision, he knows his career better. He has captained the side for almost 6-7 years He was very consistent with his captaincy in T20Is. He had already decided that tomorrow will be his last game.”
Afghanistan gave a befitting farewell to the former captain as they notched up a convincing 62-run over Namibia to keep their semifinal hopes alive in the tournament.
Adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ for his three wickets, Naveen-ul-Haq dedicated his award to Asghar Afghan and hailed him as the “best captain” ever.
“I made my debut under his captaincy, so I want to dedicate it to him,” Naveen said.
“I think Asghar has been the best captain Afghanistan has ever produced. We will be missing him a lot.”
Afghanistan has batted first in all the three games so far in the tournament and Nabi said his team is aware that they might have to chase down totals in the upcoming matches against India and New Zealand.
“The boys have had good morale in the team. We do discuss during team meetings that we might chase at times as well. I tell the openers to go and play their game. Just go and enjoy your cricket,” he said.
Known for their quality spinners, Afghanistan dished out some sensational pace bowling against Namibia with Naveen-ul-Haq (3/26), Hamid Hassan (3/9) and Gulbadin Naib (2/19) sharing 8 wickets.
“We are always depending on spinners but we have some quality seamers as well. Hamid bowled brilliantly today,” Nabi said.
For Namibia, it was an end to their three-match winning streak in the tournament as they were restricted to 98-9 while chasing a stiff 161 to win.
“We knew it would be a level up from the previous games. I don’t think the pitch changed too much. To chase 160, you need to bat well,” Namibia skipper Gerhard Erasmus said.
“It was quality of their attack and their cricketers, even with Mujeeb not playing, it showed today.”
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