Mohammad Shahzad's controversial replacement from the Afghanistan cricket team after two matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 created a massive controversy. Following scores of 0 and 7 against Australia and Sri Lanka in Bristol and Cardiff respectively, Shahzad was ruled out of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 with a knee injury and the technical committee approved his replacement in Ikram Ali Khil, who has played one Test and three ODIs. However, Shahzad lashed out at the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and has made a shocking revelation that there was a 'conspiracy theory'.
Following his statements, the Afghanistan Cricket Board has suspended Shahzad's contract for “continued violation” of principles of the administration.
"I still don't know why I was ruled unfit when I was fit enough to play. Some people on the board (ACB) have conspired against me. Only manager, doctor and the captain knew that I was going to be replaced. Even the coach (Phil Simmons) found out much later. It was heart-breaking. I had finished my training (ahead of the New Zealand game) and only after I checked my phone, I found out that I have been ruled out of the World Cup due to a knee injury. None of the players in the team bus knew about it and just like me, they were in shock (at the news),” Shahzad had told PTI after he was ruled out of the tournament.
The right-hander was their star player in the triumphant campaign in the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe where they beat the West Indies twice including in the final. Ahead of the World Cup, Shahzad hit his sixth ODI hundred in a game against Ireland at Belfast on May 21.
Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Asadullah Khan said the wicket-keeper batsman was unfit indeed and therefore was unable to give his best on the field. "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," the ACB CEO told PTI.