Thu, 17 Jun 2021

New Delhi [India], Jun 10 (ANI): Afghanistan wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad on Monday blamed the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) for his withdrawal from the team's squad in the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.

Shahzad was withdrawn ahead of the team's match against New Zealand in the World Cup. Officials cited "a knee injury" as the reason behind the move. The player was replaced by Ikram Ali Khil in the squad.

The right-handed batsman got injured in the match against Sri Lanka, but the player said that his injury wasn't severe and that the team doctor said he only needed 2-3 days to get back to full fitness.

"My injury wasn't that severe. It was not an injury that required 2-3 months of recovery time. The board is to be blamed for my withdrawal from the Afghanistan squad. I was feeling good, they did not mention anything to me before the replacement," Shahzad told ANI.

"I don't know why the board officials don't like me. I am a straight forward person and this attitude is not liked by many in the board," he added.

He also said it was not the board which notified him about his withdrawal from the team squad but his manager who broke the news to him.

"The doctors said that I needed two to three days rest, they also said that I can play the match after doing the needful. When I was withdrawn from the squad, no one even notified me. My manager called me and informed me that I have been withdrawn from the squad," Shahzad said.

The player also said that he made a complaint to the ACB but nobody looked into it. "The ACB officials did not even hear my complaint. The board is unjustified in their stance and I have been wronged. I don't have any hope of returning to the World Cup squad now, it can only be done if someone else gets injured in the squad. But I don't want anyone to get injured," he added.

The 31-year-old said that ICC also needs to look into this issue and not release media reports about injuries without taking stock of the full injury update.

"Even ICC needs to pay attention to the matter. They issue reports and then our board withdraws us from the squad, the matter clearly needs to be looked into," Shahzad said.

Afghanistan has so far lost its three opening matches - against Australia, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand - in the ongoing World Cup.

The team will next take on South Africa on June 15. (ANI)

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