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'Give Gulbadin An Oscar!'

June 25, 2024 13:45 IST
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IMAGE: Jonathan Trott signals to the Afghan players to slow the game as Gulbadin Naib clutches his hamstring and goes to the ground. Photograph: X

Gulbadin Naib dramatically falling on his back, clutching his hamstring after Afghanistan Coach Jonathan Trott signalled to his players to slow things down in the rain-hit Super 8 match against Bangladesh caused both amusement and annoyance as former players questioned the genuineness of Gulbadin's discomfort.

Gulbadin, who was fielding in the slip cordon, complained of cramps during the 12th over bowled by spinner Noor Ahmad, after Trott was spotted on camera asking his players to slow down as Bangladesh had fallen behind on the Duckworth-Lewis par score.

The match saw frequent rain interruptions and Bangladesh, at that stage, were 81 for 7, two runs behind on the DLS par score in a revised chase of 114 in 19 overs. The Afghans eventually prevailed by eight runs to enter their maiden World Cup semi-final.

'The coach sends a message out to say slow it down, slow it down and the first slip just dives on the ground needlessly. That is unacceptable. Gone off anyway. I get that might have gone off anyway for the rain,' said Simon Doull while commentating.

Commentator Pommie Mbangwa quipped: 'Oscar, Emmy?'

Gulbadin was given treatment and taken off the field by team-mate Naveen-ul-Haq and a support staff member as it started raining again and the players ran to the dugout.

When play resumed after a short delay, the target for Bangladesh was revised.

Gulbadin was back on the field in the next -- the 13th -- over with Najibullah Zadran substituting him briefly. Gulbadin also rolled his arms over and dismissed Tanzim Hasan in the 15th over to reduce Bangladesh to 92 for 8.

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan wrote: 'Spirit of cricket is alive & kicking... Great to see Gulbadin become the first cricketer in the history of the game to get a wicket 25 mins after being shot...'

Former New Zealand cricketer and commentator Ian Smith said: 'I've 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 now.'

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