An abdominal muscle complaint forced Afghanistan’s powerful opener Hazratullah Zazai to withdraw from the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2022 on Monday (October 31).
The Afghanistan team has altered its T20 World Cup 2022 roster as a result of Zazai’s unfortunate injury, with veteran batter Gulbadin Naib replacing the injured opener for the duration of the competition. The news was released on Monday via the T20 World Cup website.
Naib traveled with the Afghanistan team to Australia as a reserve, and he is quite likely to participate in the team’s fourth Super 12 game against Sri Lanka on Tuesday in Brisbane (November 1).
Zazai was required to withdraw from the remainder of the T20 World Cup 2022 due to gastrointestinal and kidney issues, according to the showcase event’s organizers.
Notably, the 24-year-old opener’s stunning innings of 162* against Ireland in Dehradun in 2019 retains the record for the second-highest total in the annals of men’s T20I cricket.
However, in order for Afghanistan to have any hope of making it to the semifinals, they will need to defeat Sri Lanka in Brisbane on Tuesday and Australia in Adelaide on Friday.
The fact that Gulbadin hasn’t participated in a T20I since Afghanistan’s Super 12 campaign in Oman and the United Arab Emirates last year is significant to note. Naib has played in 53 T20Is, scoring 564 runs with one half-century while taking 20 wickets with an 8.17 economy rate.
Gulbadin led Afghanistan in the 2019 50-over World Cup in England and Wales, although he later struggled to keep his place on the national squad.
Afghanistan is currently ranked fifth in the World Cup points standings in their Super 12 Group with two points and a net run rate of -0.620.
Rain prevented them from playing Ireland in the Super 12 after the match against the Black Caps.
Afghanistan’s T20 World Cup 2022 squad:
Mohammad Nabi (c), Najibullah Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Azmatullah Omarzai, Darwish Rasooli, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Ibrahim Zadran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Naveen ul Haq, Qais Ahmad, Rashid Khan, Salim Safi, Gulbadin Naib, Usman Ghani. Standby Players: Afsar Zazai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rahmat Shah.
Read more: Zimbabwe captain reaction on qualifying for Super 12 of T20 World Cup