Afghanistan’s former all-rounder Mirwais Ashraf has been appointed as the acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) by the Taliban-led interim government.
Ashraf has replaced Azizullah Fazli, who was in charge of the top post for merely couple of months.
As per reports in Afghanistan media, the decision was taken after the national players demanded the Taliban officials in a meeting in Abu Dhabi during the ongoing T20 World Cup.
“The prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has appointed Mirwais Ashraf as acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB),” a Taliban statement said.
The 33-year-old Ashraf has featured in 46 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 25 T20 internationals for Afghanistan. he played his last international game in 2016.
Recently, the Mohhamad Nabi-led Afghanistan team bowed out of the ongoing T20 World Cup Super 12 stage after managing to win just two of their five Group 2 matches. They lost to neighbours Pakistan, India and finalist New Zealand.
Earlier last wek, Cricket Australia (CA) had postponed a Test match against Afghanistan — the first scheduled between the two nations — in Brisbane later this month.
After ousting the Afghanistan’s elected government in August this year, few senior Taliban leaders had said that Afghan women would no longer play cricket or any other sport under their regime which didn’t go well with Cricket Australia and even the ICC.
Many senior Australian cricketers had supported the call to cancel the one-off Test against Afghanistan following such statements while the CA has now said that they will host the match only once the situation is clearer.
Issuing a statement, the governing body of Cricket in Australia said: “CA is committed to support growing the game for women and men in Afghanistan and around the world, however, given the present uncertainty, CA felt it necessary to postpone the Test match until a later time when the situation is clearer.”
“CA looks forward to hosting Afghanistan players in the BBL (Big Bash League) this season, who are great ambassadors for the game, and to hosting both the Afghanistan women’s and men’s team in the not too distant future,” the statement added.
Significantly, it was for the second time the Test match has been postponed, with the match moved back from November 2020 due to COVID-19 complications.
After the development, Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi expressed disappointment and said: “It’s disappointing the Test match isn’t going ahead this year but I’m happy that the match is only postponed and not cancelled.”
“My representative has been assured by Cricket Australia that they remain committed to the development of cricket in Afghanistan, so I look forward to hearing how we can work together in this regard,” he added.