Image Source : SCREENGRAB Afghanistan all-rounder Gulbadin Naib suffered a sudden cramp while standing in the slips immediately after head coach Jonathan Trott asked his players to slow the game down

Afghanistan qualified for the semi-finals in a historic result for the whole nation and a young cricketing country as they advanced to the final four for the first time in an ICC event. Afghanistan after losing to India in their opening Super 8 fixture in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, had to win both their remaining fixtures to get through and the inspired Rashid Khan-led side delivered the same with wins over Australia and Bangladesh.

The win against Australia was a comprehensive one while Bangladesh ran them close in the final Super 8 clash before the Afghans edged over in the final minutes. The constant stop-start due to rain in St Vincent on Monday (June 24) night didn’t help. The first delay happened in the mid-inning. The second delay after three overs and if there had been a washout then, Afghanistan would have qualified. The third and final delay took place during the 12th over of the innings when Bangladesh were 81/7 and the DLS par score was 83.

As the rain was falling down, Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott indicated from outside the boundary with gestures to slow the game down and immediately Gulbadin Naib suddenly went down while standing in the slips even though the ball wasn’t even delivered yet. Naib walked off the field and the umpires called the groundsmen with covers.

Watch the video here:

The match resumed and an over later, Naib was back on the field and was even bowling too. The commentators and the fans alike suggested a foul play as the act came under scrutiny. However, the act didn’t have an impact on the final result but it did come into question. When asked about the same at the post-match presentation by Simon Doull, Rashid Khan played it down quick cleverly.

“Rain is something that’s not in your hand. It was on and off. Mentally we were always there that we had to play 20 overs and take ten wickets. That was the only way we could get to the semi-final. There was no other way,” Rashid said. “Gulbadin had some cramp, I think. Hopefully, he will be alright. But that wicket that he gave us was a massive one at that stage.”

Afghanistan won by 8 runs on DLS method and will now take on South Africa in a crunch semi-final clash.