Afghanistan’s pace sensation, Naveen-ul-Haq, has confirmed that he will step away from One Day Internationals (ODIs) following the conclusion of the upcoming World Cup in India.
Naveen, who marked his debut on the international stage in 2016, has proudly donned Afghanistan’s jersey in seven ODIs, accumulating an impressive tally of 14 wickets with an average of 25.42.
Despite retaining his pivotal role in Afghanistan’s T20 International (T20I) squad, boasting 27 appearances in the format, Naveen hasn’t featured in an ODI match since 2021. This prompted him to take a temporary hiatus from the 50-over format in 2022, allowing him to prepare both mentally and physically for the T20 World Cup held last year.
Beyond international cricket, Naveen has become a familiar face in various global T20 leagues, including the IPL, LPL, BBL, and PSL.
Earlier this month, Afghanistan’s selectors surprised many by including Naveen in their 15-member squad for the World Cup. This marks a significant return for the young pacer to the ODI arena after more than two years. He is anticipated to play a vital role in Afghanistan’s pace attack, partnering with the likes of Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, and the versatile allrounder Azmatullah Omarzai.
In a heartfelt message shared on social media, the 24-year-old Naveen expressed that the decision to retire from ODIs wasn’t made lightly. He emphasized that this choice was taken to ensure the longevity of his cricketing career.
“It has been an absolute honor to represent my country, and I would like to announce my retirement from the ODI format at the end of this World Cup while continuing to proudly wear the blue jersey in T20 cricket for my country,” he stated.
Naveen further remarked, “It hasn’t been an easy decision to make, but in order to extend my playing career, I had to take this tough decision. I would like to express my gratitude to the Afghanistan Cricket Board and all my fans for their unwavering support and love.”
Afghanistan is all set to kickstart their World Cup campaign against Bangladesh on October 7 in Dharamsala.