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Afghanistan Spin Attack Suffers Setback As Key Spinner Ruled Out

Afghanistan’s key spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman will miss the rest of the T20 World Cup due to a recurring finger injury that also sidelined him during the IPL 2024. As a result, Afghanistan has decided to replace him with Hazratullah Zazai, a dynamic opening batsman. The International Cricket Council (ICC) approved this change just after Afghanistan’s strong win over Papua New Guinea. This move represents a significant strategic adjustment in the team’s lineup.

“The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 has authorized Hazratullah Zazai to step in for Mujeeb ur Rahman in the Afghanistan squad,” stated the ICC in a press release on Saturday.

Mujeeb, who featured in Afghanistan’s opening match against Uganda, has been sidelined from subsequent games due to a sprained index finger on his bowling hand.

Despite Mujeeb’s absence, Afghanistan had foreseen such circumstances by including Noor Ahmad in their squad. Noor has stepped up commendably, playing in Afghanistan’s last two matches.

In the game against New Zealand, although Noor did not take any wickets, he made a significant impact in the match against PNG, bowling a spell of 1 for 14 in his four overs. His crucial dismissal of Kiplin Doriga, PNG’s top-scorer, was a highlight, demonstrating his potential as a key bowler for Afghanistan in the Super Eight stage.

Zazai, who has been drafted into the squad as a replacement, is not a direct replacement for Mujeeb but brings valuable depth to the batting order. Known for his aggressive batting style, Zazai holds the second-highest individual score in men’s T20I history. Although he hasn’t played a T20I since February, his experience in previous T20 World Cups bolsters Afghanistan’s batting lineup.

Afghanistan secured their spot in the Super Eight with a convincing victory over PNG. Now, they are gearing up to face the West Indies in their final group match on Monday in St Lucia, focused on maintaining their momentum.