Cricket World questions Afghanistan’s Gulbadin Naib’s “fake” injury as they reach the semis of T20 WC

Travis Head

Afghanistan’s journey in the T20 World Cup has been nothing short of remarkable. Their recent victory against Australia secured their place in the semi-finals, eliminating the Aussies from the tournament. However, amidst the celebrations, a controversial incident involving Afghan cricketer Gulbadin Naib has sparked heated debates.

Gulbadin Naib’s fake injury

During the match against Bangladesh, with rain looming, play was halted as Naib, stationed at first slip, appeared to suffer an injury. His collapse on the field seemed like a hamstring issue, but it soon became clear that something was amiss. Aussie spinner Adam Zampa humorously referred to it as “the old rainstring” on social media.

The controversy arose because Naib’s injury conveniently slowed down the game. Afghanistan’s head coach, former England batsman Jonathan Trott, had instructed the players to delay the match, hoping for a rain interruption. Afghanistan was ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method at that point. Naib took Trott’s instruction quite literally, dramatically falling to the ground.

The incident didn’t sit well with everyone. Commentators criticized it as gamesmanship and even Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan expressed displeasure with Naib’s behaviour. Bangladesh batsman Litton Das openly mocked Naib, adding to the drama. Former New Zealand bowler Simon Doull minced no words, calling it unacceptable and urging better sportsmanship.

But the rain eased up and play continued, meaning the questionable actions of Afghanistan didn’t decide the result. They ultimately won one of the most back-and-forth cricket matches in recent memory by eight runs, bowling Bangladesh out for 105 after 17.5 overs.


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