The Afghanistan Cricket Board has reshuffled its senior selection committee in the middle of the World Cup, inducting former head coach Andy Moles and Mujahid Zadran, an ACB coach who has been involved with the national team as well as the Afghanistan A and emerging teams, into the panel. The current chief selector, Dawlat Ahmadzai, will lead the junior selection committee.
Moles has served as coach of the Afghanistan senior team as well as the country's Under-19 team in the past. His stint with the senior team ran from 2014 to 2015, during which the side played their maiden World Cup, in Australia and New Zealand in 2015. More recently, Moles has been involved with Afghanistan's junior teams, coaching the Under-19 and Under-23 sides.
The changes to the selection panel came a couple of months after the decision to remove Asghar Afghan as captain. Gulbadin Naib was appointed captain of the ODI team and is leading the side in the ongoing World Cup, whereas Rahmat Shah and Rashid Khan were named captains of the Test and T20I teams respectively. Two of the most prominent Afghanistan players, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid, were vocal about their opposition to the move, criticising the timing of the change, just weeks before the World Cup. While Nabi tweeted in support of Afghan, saying the team had "gelled really well" under the veteran, Rashid called the decision "irresponsible and biased".
In other news concerning the ACB, Mohammad Shahzad, whose World Cup has been cut short because of an injury, has claimed that he was incorrectly declared unfit and omitted from the squad, although the board has insisted that Shahzad was indeed unfit.
Apart from their decision on the selection committee, ACB has bought in four new governing board members to replace Hikmat Khalil Karzai (deputy minister of foreign affairs), Aklil Hakimi (minister of finance), Sayed Mansoor Saadat Naderi (minister of urban development and housing), and Ahmad Shah Sangdil (university chancellor), since they no longer hold public offices.
As per the presidential decree, they have been replaced by Zia ul Haq Amarkhi (senior advisor to the country's president), Gulalai Noor (senator), and Jawad Paikar (minister of urban development and housing), while Atif Mashal - ACB's former president, now ambassador to Pakistan - has also joined the group.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent