Another veteran of Afghanistan’s long march through the Divisions, Mohammad Nabi’s storied Afghanistan career stretches back deep into the pre-World Cricket League era, back to the days of Afghanistan’s occasional outings to play Pakistan domestic sides in the early 2000s, where the mists of time and lack of readily available scorecards draw a veil over its beginnings.
The off-spinning all-rounder has remained a constant, cool-headed presence in the Afghan side throughout their remarkable rise from a gaggle of rag-tag amateurs to Test-playing nation, as stand-out spinner and middle order linchpin through their WCL campaigns, and captaining the side to the last World Cup in 2015. Above all a team man, fiercely competitive and not above a spot of sharp practice if the situation requires, Nabi’s bowling has become more conservative in recent years, playing the role of containing foil to Rashid and Mujeeb. But he remains one of only three Afghan bowlers to have taken 100 ODI wickets, and was the first to do so when he dismissed Shimron Hetmyer at the World Cup Qualifier last year.
His batting has remained a crucial, constant component in Afghanistan’s success, however, maintaining his consistent contributions in the middle order even as Afghanistan faced ever-tougher opponents. He is generally utilised by Afghanistan at number 6, but his record shows he’s equally capable of batting up the order. His maiden ODI century came against Zimbabwe back in 2015, making 116 at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo to help his side to a 580-run win to level the series which they would go on to win 3-2, marking the first time an Associate had bested Full Member in a multi-match ODI series.
At 34, Nabi though still a crucial component of both the Afghan batting and bowling units, may well be heading into his second and last World Cup. But for him, it’s likely Afghanistan would still be waiting to play in their first.
A veteran all-rounder with plenty of experience at the highest level, Nabi is a proven performer in the middle overs of both innings for Afghanistan.