Cricket world blasts 'disgraceful' Afghanistan move as Australia knocked out of T20 World Cup

Afghanistan cricketer Gulbadin Naib has been slammed for faking an injury.

The cricket world has condemned the unsportsmanlike actions of Afghanistan in the T20 World Cup which has once again sparked the 'spirit of cricket' debate. With progress to the World Cup semi-finals on the line and wet weather closing in, Afghanistan's coach Jonathan Trott shockingly signalled for his players to waste time as they had just crept ahead by two runs under the DLS system, drawing the ire of cricket fans around the globe.

Australia's loss to India on Monday handed Afghanistan and Bangladesh a rare opportunity to progress to the last four of the tournament and knock out the Aussies in doing so. If Afghanistan won the match they would go through, while Bangladesh needed to win in quick time to progress. After losing to India by 24 runs, Australia needed Bangladesh to defeat Afghanistan, but not by more than 45 balls to spare, to progress to the last four.

Afghanistan have been slammed for an unsportsmanlike act in their crunch T20 World Cup match against Bangladesh. Image: Getty
Afghanistan have been slammed for an unsportsmanlike act in their crunch T20 World Cup match against Bangladesh. Image: Getty

On Tuesday, Afghanistan managed to end Australia's T20 World Cup campaign with a historic victory. But instead of the cricket world heralding the incredible achievement they have been left to condemn the national side's poor sportsmanship.

In a rain-affected affair, Afghanistan led Bangladesh by two runs under the DLS system after 11.4 overs when rain began to fall. With heavier rain closing in, Afghanistan coach and former England international Johnathan Trott signalled to his side to slow down in the hope rain would become too heavy before another ball could be bowled.

Immediately after, Gulbadin Naib, stationary at first slip, inexplicably fell backwards clutching his hamstring, claiming to be badly injured. If play couldn't continue Afghanistan would progress ahead of Australia. And as he was basically carried off the field, umpires called for play to stop as the rain had become too heavy.

But the move to attempt to progress by faking an injury did not go down well, as even Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan was seen telling his player off for the inexcusable act. And Simon Doull in commentary also couldn't believe what he had just seen.

Afghanistan's players celebrate winning their ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2024 Super Eight cricket match against Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Stadium in Arnos Vale, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on June 24, 2024. (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP) (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)
Afghanistan's players celebrate winning their Super Eight match against Bangladesh.

“Oh no no no, sorry. You can’t have this,” he said, “I’m not accepting that. Even Rashid (Khan) doesn’t like it. It’s just delay tactics. I get it but I don’t like that at all. It is unacceptable.

"They might have gone off anyway for the rain but that’s not a good look. I know the Euros are going on in football, you’d be better off there.” While England cricket great Michael Vaughan wrote on X: "Spirit of cricket is alive and kicking..." And the cricket world was equally unimpressed by the 'disgraceful' act.

But the rain eased up and play continued, meaning the result wasn't decided by the questionable actions of Afghanistan as 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.

However, the result hasn't gone down well with fans as the player who needed help leaving the field of play after being in apparent agony was miraculously not just able to return to the field of play but take the second last wicket in a crucial turning point.

After taking the scalp commentator Ian Smith said: "I've had a dodgy knee for the last 6 months, I am gonna see Gulbadin Naib's doctor straight after the game. He's the 8th wonder of the world right."

While Vaughan took to X to write: "Great to see Gulbadin become the first cricketer in the history of the game to get a wicket 25 mins after being shot." Afghanistan will take on perennial semi-finalists South Africa for a spot in the decider.