Naib made Afghanistan ODI captain ahead of World Cup

Naib (left) is Afghanistan’s new captain. (AFP picture) 

LONDON: Afghanistan replaced long-serving one-day internationals captain Asghar Afghan on Friday, replacing him with Gulbadin Naib less than two months before this year’s 50-over World Cup in England and Wales.

Afghan, 31, took over the team’s captaincy in 2015 after Mohammad Nabi had stepped down following the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Under his leadership, the war-torn South Asian country gained full membership status from the governing body International Cricket Council and also qualified for the 2019 World Cup.

The 28-year-old Naib, who bowls seam and bats in the middle order, has played 52 ODIs for Afghanistan since making his debut in 2011.

In a wholesale changes to the leadership structure, all-rounder Rahmat Shah was appointed test captain replacing Afghan while leg-spinner Rashid Khan was put in charge of the Twenty20 team.

Rashid was also named the vice-captain for the 50-over format.

Afghanistan will tour Scotland and Ireland next month to prepare for the World Cup and will also play an ODI each against Pakistan and England before kicking off their campaign against Australia on June 1.