Rashid Khan Declines T20I Captaincy As He Believes He Is "Better Off As A Player"
Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. Image Credits: Twitter

Rashid Khan Declines T20I Captaincy As He Believes He Is “Better Off As A Player”

Rashid Khan has declined to captain the Afghanistan T20 side fearing it might affect his performance as a player which he feels is more crucial to the team.

Afghanistan has been changing captains frequently and earlier this week named Hashmatullah Shahidi as their Test and ODI skipper. Hashmatullah Shahidi is set to lead the team in ODI and Test cricket, with Rahmat Shah as his deputy in both formats.

Afghanistan’s Hashmatullah Shahidi. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)
Afghanistan’s Hashmatullah Shahidi. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

Rashid Khan Is Better Off As A Player And Is Happy To Remain Vice-Captain

However, the Afghanistan Cricket Board is yet to name the T20 captain.

“I am very much clear in my mind that I am better off as a player. I am good in the role as vice-captain and help the captain wherever I am needed. It’s better for me that I stay away from this position,” Rashid told ‘ESPNcricinfo’.

“I want to do well for the team as a player and my performance is a bit more crucial for the team rather than me thinking about different things being a captain.”

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan (Photo Credit: Twitter/@cricketworldcup)

Rashid Khan has captained Afghanistan in 2 Tests and under him, Afghanistan won the Test against Bangladesh. He has also captained the national team in 7 ODIs and 7 T20Is and Afghanistan won 1 ODI and 4 T20Is under his captaincy. Asghar Afghan is Afghanistan’s most successful limited-overs skipper winning 33 ODIs out of 58 and 39 T20Is out of 49. He also led in 4 Tests and Afghanistan won 2 and lost 2.

Rashid Khan Focusing On Forthcoming T20 World Cup And Is Afraid Captaincy Might Affect His Performance

With the T20 World Cup around the corner, Rashid Khan feels he is better off focussing on what he does best.

“Also, it takes time, and right now the most important thing is the World Cup which is quite near and I feel it is too much for me to have. I am afraid it might affect my performance for the team which is a key so I am very happy as a player and whatever the decision board and selection committee make I am fully behind it and will appreciate it.”

“If you have a year or two, you manage yourself and understand things only then it’s easier to deal with the role. I was the captain once and they [board] know my mindset and which is why they kept the spot empty looking for someone else while I stay as a vice-captain,” said one of the best spinners in limited-overs cricket.

Asghar Afghan (Photo: AFP)
Asghar Afghan (Photo: AFP)

Rashid Khan, who plays for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, is set to turn out for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League. Ever since his debut IPL season in 2017, Rashid Khan has garnered all the right eyeballs owing to his mastery with the ball.

The leg-spinner turned in a few memorable match-winning efforts in SRH’s journey to the finals the 2018 edition. He took 21 wickets and emerged as the second-highest wicket-taker in that edition. He has 85 scalps in 69 IPL games averaging a mere 20.1 at an economic rate of 6.23-the lowest economy rate ever in IPL history.

Afghanistan T20I vice-captain Rashid Khan said that it was Asghar Afghan’s captaincy that has led Afghanistan to where it is today. Rashid Khan’s comment comes just one day after Asghar Afghan was removed as Afghanistan’s ODI and Test skipper.

However, Asghar Afghan’s removal as the national team’s captain comes after the Afghanistan Cricket Board’s investigation committee’s report concluded that some of his decision led to the team’s loss against Zimbabwe earlier this year in the UAE.

Zimbabwe went on to win the 1st Test by 10 wickets inside two days to hand Afghanistan an embarrassing defeat. However, Afghanistan came back strongly in the second Test to level the series 1-1.