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Cricket World Cup 2019 | Afghanistan Won't be Distracted by Shahzad Row: Naib

AFP |June 15, 2019, 4:24 AM IST
Cricket World Cup 2019 | Afghanistan Won't be Distracted by Shahzad Row: Naib

Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib insists his side won't let the row over Mohammad Shahzad's controversial World Cup exit overshadow the rest of the tournament.

Shahzad played in Afghanistan's first two World Cup matches, but the wicketkeeper-batsman was removed from the squad after suffering a knee injury that the country's cricket board said would not allow him to play any further part in the tournament.

The 31-year-old, who scored just seven runs in losses to Australia and Sri Lanka, claimed medical advice he had received said he would have been fit to play in a few days after having his knee drained.

"If they don't want me to play, I will quit cricket," an emotional Shahzad was reported to have told local media after returning to Kabul.

Shahzad, Afghanistan's highest run-scorer in one-day internationals with 2,727 runs, was not selected for the 2015 World Cup due to a lack of fitness.

Asked about the row ahead of Saturday's clash with South Africa, Naib made it clear he didn't want to dwell on the situation.

"We looked forward, so we didn't go to the past. We had one week off. We got plenty of good things in this last week," Naib told reporters on Friday.

"Obviously we missed Shahzad. We have good youngsters on the team now on the side, so we're excited for the next game."

With Afghanistan still looking for their first win in this year's World Cup, Naib said star leg spinner Rashid Khan should be fit to play against South Africa.

Rashid suffered a head injury and failed a concussion test, leaving him unable to bowl after he was struck by a bouncer from New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson.

"He's quite good now. He joined yesterday's practise session as well. Now he's feeling much better now," Naib said.

"It's not that serious. Obviously, when you are hit hard on the head you have something like a problem, like the head is sore. But now he's feeling well."

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
AUS
6 5 1 0 10 +0.84
2
NZ
5 4 0 1 9 +1.59
3
ENG
5 4 1 0 8 +1.86
4
IND
4 3 0 1 7 +1.02
5
BAN
6 2 3 1 5 -0.40
6
SL
5 1 2 2 4 -1.77
7
WI
5 1 3 1 3 +0.27
8
SA
6 1 4 1 3 -0.19
9
PAK
5 1 3 1 3 -1.93
10
AFG
5 0 5 0 0 -2.08

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more