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Gulbadin Naib makes light of mystery injury in Afghanistan’s win over Bangladesh

Afghanistan eventually won the game without recourse to DLS, edging out Australia.

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Afghanistan all-rounder Gulbadin Naib has made light of his controversial injury delay as his side prepare for a historic appearance in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup.

Gulbadin was at the centre of a strange moment during his side’s Super 8 game against Bangladesh, dropping dramatically to the ground and clutching his leg despite standing still at slip.

Moments earlier, with Afghanistan narrowly ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method and with rain beginning to fall, head coach Jonathan Trott could be seen gesturing animatedly from the dugout encouraging his team to slow the game down.

Rashid Khan, left, embraces team-mate Gulbadin Naib (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)
Rashid Khan, left, embraces team-mate Gulbadin Naib (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

Afghanistan eventually won the game without recourse to DLS, edging out Australia, with a mysteriously fit-again Gulbadin bowling two overs and taking an enthusiastic part in his team’s celebrations as they made the final four at a global event for the first time.

Former New Zealand international Simon Doull had branded the incident “unacceptable” while commentating, while fellow punt Ian Smith joked: “I’ve a dodgy knee for the last six months. I am going to see Gulbadin Naib’s doctor straight after the game.”

The reactions continued to flow in, with former England captain Michael Vaughan posting on X “Great to see Gulbadin become the first cricketer in the history of the game to get a wicket 25 mins after being shot”. Australia spinner Adam Zampa posted a video of Gulbadin’s tumble on Instagram with the caption ‘the old rainstring’.

Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan suggested in post-match interviews that his team-mate had suffered an attack of cramp, but there was a mischievous tone to their subsequent social media posts.

Gulbadin posted a picture of himself smiling broadly with physio Prasanth Panchada on Instagram, writing, “Wonders can happen”. He also commented on a video posted by pace bowler Naveen-ul-Haq, which saw footage of Gulbadin running crudely cut into a movie clip, writing: “Hey mate I am not felling well (sic)…Hamstring problem.”

It is expected that Gulbadin will be passed fit for Afghanistan’s semi-final against South Africa on Wednesday night in Trinidad.

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