ICC World Cup 2019: “If they don’t want me to play, I will quit cricket”, Mohammad Shahzad threatens Afghanistan Cricket Board

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Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad has threatened the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) of quitting cricket after he was forcefully asked to leave the 2019 World Cup campaign midway.

The 32-year-old Shahzad, who has been replaced by Ikram Alikhil, played Afghanistan’s first two matches against Australia and Sri Lanka but the recurrence of a knee injury saw him being omitted from the squad.

Shahzad, though, claims that he was incorrectly declared unfit. “I went to a doctor in London and he drained my knee of some fluids, gave me a pill and said that I could play after resting for two-three days,” Shahzad told local media after reaching Kabul.

“I don’t know what is the problem. If they have a problem, they should let me know. If they don’t want me to play, I will quit cricket.

“I don’t see myself playing anymore. It’s a dream to play the World Cup. I was removed from the 2015 World Cup [he wasn’t selected for fitness reasons] and now this one as well. I am going to consult with friends and family. My heart isn’t in cricket anymore,” ’emotional’ Shahzad added.

Reacting to Shahzad’s comments, ACB CEO Asadullah Khan refuted the wicket-keeper’s claims and said any player would be upset after being dropped from a big tournament like World Cup but Afghanistan didn’t want to compromise on the fitness of the players.

“What he is saying is completely wrong. A proper medical report to the ICC was submitted and then only his replacement was announced. The team could not have fielded an unfit player. I understand he is upset at not being part of World Cup anymore but the team could not have compromised on his fitness,” said Khan.

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