After playing his last knock in international cricket, Former Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan on Sunday became emotional and said that it’s tough for him to hang his boots but he now wants to give chance to youngsters in the ongoing Men’s T20 World Cup.
The 33-year-old, who made a surprise announcement to retire from the sport on Saturday, received a guard of honour by the Namibian fielders when he walked in to bat in the T20 World Cup clash between both sides in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Afghan joined his teammate Mohammad Shahzad in the middle in the final delivery of the tenth over after Rahmanullah Gurbaz was trapped LBW on four by Loftie-Eaton. He played a vital knock of 31 runs before being dismissed by Ruben Trumpelmann in the 19-over of the innings.
After his dismissal, many Namibian fielders congratulated the veteran Afghan cricketer as he returned to the pavilion with a second guard of honour, as Afghanistan players lined up just outside the boundary ropes.
“I want to give a chance to youngsters now. It is the right time for the youngsters to come forward. Most of the people asked to continue till the end of the tournament. But I thought this is the right time after the loss in the last game. There are plenty of memories. This is tough for me,” said an emotional Asghar Afghan during the innings break.
Asghar played six Tests, 114 ODIs, and 75 T20Is and has scored 4,215 runs across formats and led Afghanistan in 115 matches.
He was the first Afghanistan Test captain when they made their debut against India in 2018. He led the side to two wins and two losses while he was at the helm of the red-ball side. In 59 ODIs as captain, he bagged 34 wins and 21 losses in 59 matches while he won 42 of the 52 matches as T20Is captain.
The batsman made his ODI debut against Scotland in 2009 and his T20I debut against Ireland in 2010. He holds the record of most T20I wins as captain and went past MS Dhoni’s record of 41 wins when Afghanistan defeated Zimbabwe in Abu Dhabi in March this year. He also holds the record for most consecutive matches for a captain (46) in T20Is.