Although the International Cricket Council (ICC) had opted for a wait-and-watch approach on Afghanistan but will discuss the future of cricket in the war-torn nation nation in its board meeting, which will be held in November, the global cricket governing body’s acting chief executive Geoff Allardice has said.
After Afghanistan came under Taliban’s rule in August, the future of cricket has been uncertain with Cricket Australia (CA) threatening not to host them for a one-off test in Hobart next month if the new government in Kabul did not allow women’s cricket in the country.
Although the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) had said that it was committed to women’s cricket but was awaiting instructions from its government on its future.
“Our primary function is to support the development of cricket in that country through the member board,” Allardice told a virtual news conference ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup which begins on October 17.
“We have said all along that we are waiting to see how things unfold under the different regime in that country. The ICC board will consider it when they next meet which is looking like at the end of the T20 World Cup,” he added.
Although Australia Test captain Tim Paine had earlier said that teams might opt not to play against Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup however, Allardice said there was no doubt over their participation in the showpiece event.
“They are full member of the ICC and the team is preparing for the event at the moment and will be playing in Group B. As far as their participation in the event, it’s proceeding as normal,” he said.
The Afghanistan men’s senior team is currently training in Qatar for the upcoming T20 World Cup, where it will kick-off its campaign against a qualifier in Sharjah on October 25.
Led by Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan is placed in Group 2 of T20 World Cup 2021, alongside India, New Zealand, and Pakistan. They will be joined by two other teams from the qualifier stage.
Afghanistan will begin their campaign in the showpiece event with the winner of Group B in Round 1 on October 25 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
They will later face Pakistan in Dubai on October 29 before taking on qualifier from the Round 2 on October 31 in Abu Dhabi.
They will lock horns against tournament favourites India on November 3 in Abu Dhabi before facing New Zealand in their last league game at the same venue on November 7.
At present, Afghanistan is placed at the seventh place in the ICC T20 international rankings.
Afghanistan Squad for T20 World Cup:
Mohammad Nabi (Captain), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Karim Janat, Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib, Usman Ghani, Naveen ul Haq, Asghar Afghan, Hamid Hassan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Najibullah Zadran, Dawlat Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Shapoor Zadran, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Qais Ahmad. Reserves: Afsar Zazai, Fareed Ahmad