Afghanistan’s wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been ruled out of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 due to a knee injury. The team management made the formal announcement on 6th June as wicket-keeper batsman Ikram Ali Khil has named replacement for Shahzad.
The 32-year old suffered from knee problem during the warm-up game played against Pakistan. Even though, he has played for Afghanistan in the first two games of the competition. He certainly aggravated his injury by playing back-to-back games of Cricket World Cup 2019. Shahzad perished for a duck against Australia and could not do much better against Sri Lanka.
Wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been ruled out of Cricket World Cup due to a knee injury
It is certainly big setback for Afghanistan as Mohammad Shahzad has been one of the bankable performers for Afghanistan in white-ball cricket. In 84 one-day matches, Mohammad Shahzad accumulated 2727 runs at an average of 33.66 with six centuries to his name. He certainly struggled to produce runs with the bat this season and scored 219 runs in 8 matches at an average of 27.37.
Ikram Ali Khil made his limited-overs debut for Afghanistan against Ireland in March 2019 and played one two matches. He was also part of Afghanistan’s side that played their home test match against Ireland at Dehradun. Afghanistan will certainly need to look for someone to open the innings for the side in the remaining games of the competition.
Khil has done exceedingly well in the U-19 Cricket World Cup last year and accumulated 185 runs in 4 innings at an average of 46.25. He might bat down the order as Rahmat Shah or Hashmatullah Shahidi might be given the task to open the innings alongside Hazratullah Zazai.
For Afghanistan, they will need to bat exceedingly well in order to compete against top-ranked sides in this year’s World Cup. Afghanistan will play their next game against New Zealand at Taunton on Saturday (8th June). It will be interesting how Afghanistan fare against Kane Williamson-led unit.