Gulbadin’s Comical Delay, Sparks Laughter and Speculation


Following Afghanistan’s move to the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup after an eight-run win over Bangladesh in a rain-hit thriller, Australia skipper Mitchell Marsh commented on Afghanistan all-rounder Gulbadin Naib’s dramatic and mischievous move to hold his hamstring to delay the proceedings, calling it “one of the funniest things he had ever seen.”

When rain interrupted the action, Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott was captured on television cameras instructing the team to slow down as Bangladesh, chasing 116 runs, fell just short of the Duckworth-Lewis target. Gulbadin, acknowledging his coach’s message, humorously collapsed to the ground, holding his hamstring.

Although Rashid later explained that Gulbadin had faced a cramp, he was unimpressed by the 33-year-old’s sudden collapse. It remains to be seen if the International Cricket Council (ICC) will look into Gulbadin’s act and take action ahead of the semifinal clash against South Africa on Thursday.

Speaking to, Marsh said about the incident, “I was almost in tears laughing, and at the end of the day, it had no bearing on the game. So we can laugh about it now – but gee it was funny. It was outstanding.”

After his fall, Gulbadin delivered two vital overs, even securing a wicket, and was seen running aggressively after Afghanistan’s victory. During the celebrations, Gulbadin was right at the front and center.

Adding to the cheekiness, Gulbadin posted a picture on social media with team physiotherapist Prasanth Panchada, captioned “wonders can happen.” This added to the speculation around his antics during the match.

Following the game, Rashid commented on Gulbadin’s condition, “He had some cramp. I don’t know what happened to him and I don’t know what’s going on in social media but that does not matter. We have not lost any overs, the rain came and we just went off, it is not something that brought a massive difference in the game … for me, it is just like a small injury comes in, then you have to take some time,” he added.

As per ICC playing conditions, it is “unfair for any fielder to waste time,” giving authority to umpires to approach players or captains if they feel time-wasting was “deliberate or repetitive.” A two-match ban is the maximum penalty for this type of time-wasting, though a first and final warning is more likely if Gulbadin’s act was reported.

While Marsh appreciated the comic timing of the whole scene, he noted it was tough for his team to watch the game as their fate depended on the Afghanistan-Bangladesh clash after their loss to India. Australia needed Bangladesh to win to have a chance at qualifying for the semis.

“We watched it as a group. It was obviously a pretty amazing game, wasn’t it? A lot of twists and turns,” he said. “Obviously you want to keep playing this tournament and that was our only way of doing it. But there is also the element that it was completely out of our control and we only had ourselves to blame for that.”

“We were all flat when the final wicket fell. We were desperate to continue on in the tournament. But fair play to Afghanistan – they beat us and they beat Bangladesh and they deserve to be in the semi-finals,” he concluded.

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