Afghanistan dealt with a major blow on Wednesday as Rashid Khan was ruled out of the 3-match T20I series against India, starting January 11 in Mohali. The star leg-spinner underwent back surgery a couple of months ago and hasn’t recovered fully to take part in the matches against India.
Rashid’s absence was confirmed by Ibrahim Zadran in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday in Mohali. The Afghanistan captain said the team will miss the leg-spinner’s skills in the T20I series against Rohit Sharma-led Team India.
“He is not totally fit. He is doing his rehab. We will miss him in the series. Without Rashid there are a few players we trust,” Zadran said in the presser.
The games will help Afghanistan fine-tune their preparations for the T20 World Cup and Zadran feels the team must improve in the batting department.
“We have one of the best spinners in the world, we have fast bowlers as well but our aim is to improve batting skills. We have been training here last two-three days, there was no dew,” he pointed out,” Zadran further said.
Despite Rashid’s absence, a full-strength Afghanistan team will challenge India in their own backyard.
“We have many players like Mujeeb (Zadran) who have played a lot of cricket. We have trust in them. We will struggle without Rashid but one should be ready for any kind of situation,” he asserted.
Earlier on Monday, the likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen Ul Haq were allowed by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) to play in franchise leagues under new regulatory measures with a salary deduction and a warning. The board issued three new regulatory measures on Monday to ensure the players’ ‘commitment to national duty’.
“Final Warning and Salary Deduction: Each player shall receive a final written warning and face a specific salary deduction from their monthly earnings and/or match fees,” the board said in a statement.