Afghanistan's explosive opener and wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad has been ruled out of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 due to a knee injury.
Shahzad, known for his big-hitting at the top of the order for Afghanistan, suffered the knee injury during Afghanistan's warm-up match against Pakistan last month. While he took the field in Afghanistan's first two matches of the World Cup against Australia and Sri Lanka respectively, an aggravation of the knee injury has forced the 32-year-old out of the World Cup.
Shahzad's injury comes as a big blow to Afghanistan, considering the wicketkeeper-batsman has been one of their top-scorers since the 2015 World Cup with 1843 runs in 55 innings.
Though, in the World Cup, he has been disappointing. He got a duck against Australia and just seven runs against Sri Lanka.
Shahzad will be replaced by Ikram Ali Khil, an 18-year-old top-order batsman.
"The ICC has confirmed that the Event Technical Committee of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 has approved Khil as a replacement player for Shahzad in the Afghanistan squad for the remainder of the tournament," an ICC release said.
Khil has only played 2 ODIs for Afghanistan so far, having made his ODI debut against Ireland in Dehradun in March 2019. He was also part of Afghanistan's U-19 World Cup squad in 2018. He scored 185 runs in four matches.