The upcoming three-match ODI series between Afghanistan and Pakistan has been postponed due to “disruption of flight operations in Kabul”, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said.
The ODI series was scheduled to begin from September 3 in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota.
PCB said that it and the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) have mutually agreed to postpone the series and will be rescheduled for 2022.
“The ACB had contacted the board on Monday evening, requesting to postpone the series for 2022 citing disruption of flight operations in Kabul, increased COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka, the mental health of their players, and non-availability of broadcast equipment,” the PCB said in a statement.
“We have worked very closely with the Afghanistan Cricket Board to make this series happen and were keen to play them in the inaugural bilateral series, but we understand their challenges and have, therefore, agreed to reschedule the series for 2022,” PCB director international Zakir Khan said.
“The PCB historically enjoys an excellent relationship with the ACB and will do everything to ensure the series is played in 2022 as it is critical for both sides in terms of direct qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023,” he added.
Earlier, visas were issued to the Afghan cricketers to ensure they reach the island nation via Pakistan and United Arab Emirates (UAE) following the ban on commercial flights from Kabul after the ongoing political crisis in Afghanistan.
Notably, the series was scheduled to be played in Afghanistan however, after Taliban took over the entire nation, the matches were not possible in the war-torn nation.
As a result, both PCB and the ACB had decided to host the series in Sri Lanka as it was a neutral venue.