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Rashid Khan declines T20 captaincy; says he is better off as a player

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Rashid believes that he is better off without captaincy

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Rashid Khan declines T20 captaincy; says he is better off as a player

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SportsCafe Desk

06/04/2021

Rashid Khan, who not so long ago was Afghanistan’s all-format captain, has publicly stated that he doesn’t want T20 captaincy and has asserted that he is much better off purely as a player, not having to think about tactics. Rashid has insisted that that captaincy might affect his performances.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) are notorious for making controversial calls and, last week, the board stripped incumbent Asghar Afghan of captaincy. ACB removed Afghan as captain from all three formats and appointed Hashmatullah Shahidi as the ODI and Test captain, before revealing that a call on T20I captaincy will soon be made. Many thought Rashid might be their go-to man but that wasn’t to be the case as the board confirmed that the 22-year-old, who is a former captain, would continue serving as just the vice-captain. 

The decision left many puzzled, but Rashid has now opened up on the same and has asserted that it was his stance to not get back into captaincy. Rashid, post the 2019 World Cup, led Afghanistan in all three formats, but the leg-spinner insisted that he is much better off as just a player. The 22-year-old admitted that he has the tendency to overthink, and revealed that he is afraid that captaincy would affect his performances.

"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 ESPN Cricinfo.

"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. 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.”

Under Rashid’s captaincy, Afghanistan famously won a Test match away in Bangladesh, but the 22-year-old asserted that he always knew that captaining the team was never a long-term option. Rashid revealed that he made the board aware of his mindset, owing to which they kept him as the just the vice-captain.

"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."

Afghanistan, of late, have played musical chair with captaincy, with all of Afghan, Rashid and Gulbadin Naib leading the side across the past two years. Shahidi will be a brand new addition to this game, but Rashid claimed that change in captaincy will not disrupt the side as, according to him, the players are focused on executing their roles regardless of what happens off the field.

"Asghar did a wonderful job for the last four-five years for the team and it was like he was the best option and he did really well. So when an experienced captain goes then you tend to struggle to bring the right captain in and that is what's happening with us and we are trying our best to give a chance to a player who can give his best for the team, for the country, and lead the team in a right way.

"As a team, it doesn't really affect us a lot as we all know our roles. We know someone will be named captain at some time but at the same time we all know what our job is and what our responsibility is to the team. We never thought a lot about the captaincy because it's all about us as a team and what we are putting in at the ground. The mindset is all about how to contribute and whoever comes in as captain, we as players will support him and make him comfortable so that he doesn't have to take the kind of pressure that may affect his own performance. Eventually, it's about togetherness."

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