Tag Archives: Afghanistan Cricket Board

Afghanistan women can continue playing cricket: ACB chairman

Newly appointed chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) Mirwais Ashraf has said that his country’s women will continue playing cricket.

According to a report in the Tolo News Agency (TNA), during his introductory meeting with the ACB staffers and managers, Ashraf said that in order to remain a part of the International Cricket Council (ICC), it is imperative for the country to let Afghan women play the sport.

“Women’s cricket is one of the major requirements of the ICC, therefore, it is committed to obtaining it,” said Ashraf.

“Our girls will be playing cricket on a normal basis and we are looking to provide for their basic needs and all the facilities they need. Every employee must stay committed to the ACB and must strive hard to do well in their own areas,” he added.

Significantly, after Afghanistan came under Taliban’s rule in August this year, the future of cricket has been uncertain with Cricket Australia (CA) recently postponing the one-off test in Hobart, was was slated to be held in November end in Brisbane.

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.

Last week, the ICC Board had appointed a Working Group to review the status of the ACB and cricket in Afghanistan in light of the recent governmental changes in the country.

The group comprised of Imran Khwaja (Chair), Ross McCollum, Lawson Naidoo and Ramiz Raja and is likley to report back to the Board over the coming months.

Commenting on the development, ICC Chair Greg Barclay had said: “The ICC Board is committed to continuing to support Afghanistan Cricket to develop both men’s and women’s cricket moving forward. We believe the most effective way for this to happen will be to support our members in their efforts to achieve this through its relationship with the new government.”

“Cricket is fortunate to be in the position to influence positive change in Afghanistan with the national men’s team a source of great pride and unity in a country with a young population that has experienced more upheaval and change than most. We should protect that status and continue to try to influence change through the ACB but will continue to closely monitor the situation and take any decisions accordingly,” he had added.

Recently, when asked if the women cricketers not being allowed to take part would result in its men’s team getting suspended, ICC CEO Geoff Allardice had said that the global body will not interfere in bilateral arrangements.

“Our goal is to see men and women playing cricket in Afghanistan. Our view is that the best way to achieve that is to stay closely connected with the cricket board and try to influence [things] through the cricket board. They are on a steady trajectory of development there and we would like to see that continue,” Allardice had said.

“How other members react to their bilateral arrangements with Afghanistan is up to them. We will be working through their situation at both board levels. They are the agent for developing cricket in their country,” he had added.

ICC Board appoints Afghanistan Working Group to review status of ACB

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board on Wednesday announced to appoint a Working Group to review the status of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and cricket in Afghanistan in light of the recent governmental changes in the country.

As per a statement by the global cricket governing body, the group comprises Imran Khwaja (Chair), Ross McCollum, Lawson Naidoo and Ramiz Raja. The group will report back to the Board over the coming months.

Commenting on the development, ICC Chair Greg Barclay said: “The ICC Board is committed to continuing to support Afghanistan Cricket to develop both men’s and women’s cricket moving forward. We believe the most effective way for this to happen will be to support our members in their efforts to achieve this through its relationship with the new government.”

“Cricket is fortunate to be in the position to influence positive change in Afghanistan with the national men’s team a source of great pride and unity in a country with a young population that has experienced more upheaval and change than most. We should protect that status and continue to try to influence change through the ACB but will continue to closely monitor the situation and take any decisions accordingly,” he added.

Earlier, although the ICC had opted for a wait-and-watch approach on Afghanistan but had said that it will discuss the future of cricket in the war-torn nation nation in its board meeting in November.

After Afghanistan came under Taliban’s rule in August, the future of cricket has been uncertain with Cricket Australia (CA) recently postponing the one-off test in Hobart, was was slated to be held in November end in Brisbane.

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.

Recently, when asked if the women cricketers not being allowed to take part would result in its men’s team getting suspended, Allardice had said that the global body will not interfere in bilateral arrangements.

“Our goal is to see men and women playing cricket in Afghanistan. Our view is that the best way to achieve that is to stay closely connected with the cricket board and try to influence [things] through the cricket board. They are on a steady trajectory of development there and we would like to see that continue,” Allardice had said.

“How other members react to their bilateral arrangements with Afghanistan is up to them. We will be working through their situation at both board levels. They are the agent for developing cricket in their country,” he had added.

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.

Recently, the Mohhamad Nabi-led Afghanistan team bowed out of the just concluded 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.

Former cricketer Mirwais Ashraf appointed new cricket chief of Afghanistan Cricket Board

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.

Rashid Khan steps down as Afghanistan T20 captain

Afghanistan’s star leg-spinner Rashid Khan has stepped down as the national T20 team’s captain shortly after the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced its team for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in the UAE and Oman in October-November.

Rashid announced his decision few minutes after his country confirmed their World Cup squad late on Thursday (September 9).

“The selection committee and ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) has not obtained my consent for the team which has been announced by ACB media,” Rashid Khan said in a statement on social media.

“As the captain and responsible person for the nation I reserve the right to be part of the selection of the team. I am taking the decision of stepping down from the role as the captain of Afghanistan T20 side effective immediately,” he added.

After the development, Mohammad Nabi is likely to be appointed the captain for the showpiece event.

Afghanistan will kick-off the campaign in Sharjah on October 25 against one of two of the qualifying teams in Group B. Afghanistan will also face India, New Zealand and Pakistan in the group stage.

Earlier on Thursday, Cricket Australia (CA) had issued a statement stating that it would be unable to proceed with the planned one-off Test against Afghanistan at Hobart from November 27 if news reports of Taliban not allowing women’s cricket was true.

“Driving the growth of women’s cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia. Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level,” CA said.

“If recent media reports that women’s cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match due to be played in Hobart,” it added.

Recently, a spokesman for the Taliban government’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, had told Australian broadcaster SBS News that cricket was not permitted for women under Islamic law.

In a statement released on Wednesday night, the ICC had expressed concern over Taliban’s stand on women’s cricket.

“The ICC is committed to the long-term growth of women’s cricket and despite the cultural and religious challenges in Afghanistan, steady progress has been made in this area since Afghanistan’s admission as a Full Member in 2017,” the ICC statement said.

“The ICC has been monitoring the changing situation in Afghanistan and is concerned to note recent media reports that women will no longer be allowed to play cricket,” it added.

Afghanistan T20 Squad:

Rashid Khan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Shahzad, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Naveen ul Haq, Hamid Hassan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran and Qais Ahmed.

Reserves:

Afsar Zazai and Farid Ahmed Malik.

ODI series between Afghanistan, Pakistan postponed

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.

ODI series between Afghanistan, Pakistan set to begin on Sep 3

The upcoming ODI series between Afghanistan and Pakistan is set to be held as per schedule from September 3 in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota.

Although, no official confirmation has been made on the series but Pakistan has issued visas to Afghanistan players, which removes doubts over the uncertainty on the series.

The visas have been 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.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry tweeted: “Pakistan has issued visas to the Afghan cricket team, we hope and pray that the Afghan cricket team will bring smiles on the faces of its people.”

Earlier, 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 the boards — Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) decided to host the series in Sri Lanka as it is a neutral venue.

Although, the PCB was willing to host the series however, the ACB was reluctant for it.

After the development, the Afghanistan cricket team will take a road trip to Pakistan from where they will fly to the UAE and finally a flight to Colombo.

The first ODI will be played on September 1, 2021, at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota. The 2nd ODI encounter will be played on September 3 at the same venue. The ODI series will conclude with the final ODI game on September 5, 2021, which will also be hosted at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium.

The series is a part of the Future Tour Programs (FTP) of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

All the three matches of the series will be played in Hambantota.

Pakistan’s squad announcement, training camp for Afghanistan series delayed

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has reportedly delayed their squad announcement for the upcoming ODI series against Afghanistan as the latter board is yet to finalise schedule and travel plan for the series.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board’s (ACB) delay in finalising things has been majorly due to the present political crisis in the country as the Taliban have taken over the country.

Notably, the ODI series between the two neighbouring nations was scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota between September 3 and 9. The ACB was set to host the ODI rubber.

As part of their prepration for the series, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had planned to start a training camp for the from August 21 however, as the ACB is yet to finalise things, PCB has reportedly put the squad announcement and training camp on hold as they do not want to make additional expenses.

The series was seen as part of prepration of both the teams for the upcoming T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in the UAE after the completion of the IPL 2021 remainder.

Earlier, ACB has said that the ODI series against Pakistan would not be affected by the change of government in its country.

“Taliban love cricket and they are supporting their team. Our ODI series against Pakistan will go as per schedule in Sri Lanka. After two days’ gap due to the current situation in the country, the training camp of the national team will resume tomorrow,” ACB CEO Hamid Shinwari had said.

Significantly, the ODI series between the two nations was originally scheduled to be held in Dubai but was later shifted to the island nation as its dates were clashing with the IPL 2021 second leg, which will also begin in September in the UAE.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan is also scheduled to feature in the upcoming T20 World Cup, slated to be held in the UAE in October, however, due to the current scenario, its participation remains doubtful.

ODI series Pakistan to be held as per schedule: Afghanistan Cricket Board

Despite the ongoing political crisis in Afghanistan, their upcoming three-match ODI series against Pakistan, which is slated to kick-off on September 3 in Sri Lanka, is on schedule, the Afghan Cricket Board (ACB) Chief has confirmed.

“Cricket is doing very well. We are going to the office of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB). The cricket team is preparing for the Pakistan series in Sri Lanka. It is confirmed. We are committed to sending a team to Sri Lanka as soon as possible,” ACB CEO Hamid Shinwari was quoted as saying to espncricinfo.com.

“There is transition going on here in Afghanistan hence there is a vacuum in flight operations and availability is affected. But we will fly out as soon as we find a flight. We have our boys assembled in Kabul and they are preparing for the series,” added Shinwari.

He said that their squad is expected to depart within the next four days.

“We hope the squad will depart in the next four days. We have updated both the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and both are on board. I am thankful to SLC for hosting us and that is really generous of them,” he added.

Notably, all the three ODI matches will be played in Hambantota.

Meanwhile, the ACB is also set to host an expanded form of Shpageeza T20 Cricket League in September at the Kabul Cricket Stadium.

In the upcoming eighth edition of the league, couple of two more teams have been added to the roster, bringing the total number of franchises to eight.

“This time round, SCL will provide audiences and fans with a new experience. It will also be great financially for players,” Shinwari had said in a statement.

One of the franchises – Band-e Amir Dragons’ owner Anwar Mukhles expressed his thanks to the ACB and said: “I would like to thank all franchise owners who will ensure that people in Afghanistan will enjoy the game of cricket amid recent events unfolding in the country. Our national players will play in their own country and will also entertain their fans here.”

The eight franchises are namely Hindukush Stars, Pamir Zalmiyan, Speenghar Tigers, Kabul Eagles, Amo Sharks, Bost Defenders, Band-e Amir Dragons, Mis-e Ainak Knights.

Notably, Hindukush Stars and Pamir Zalmiyan are the new participants in the tournament.

Former SL cricketer Avishka Gunawardene appointed Afghanistan’s batting coach

Former Sri Lanka cricketer Avishka Gunawardene has been announced as the new batting coach of the Afghanistan national cricket team, the strife-torn country’s cricket board has announced amid fresh turmoil at home following the takeover by Taliban.

Confirming the development on its official twitter handle, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said: “Former @OfficialSLC batsman and coach, Avishka Gunawardene has been appointed as Afghanistan National Team’s batting coach.”

Few days back, former Australian pacer Shaun Tait was appointed Afghanistan national team’s bowling coach.

Gunawardene, who represented Sri Lanka for almost a decade, played six Tests and 61 ODIs.

Although he managed only 181 runs in Tests, Gunawardene had accumulated 1708 runs in the ODIs with a century.

Earlier in May, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had cleared Gunawardene of two corruption charges and allowed him to take part in cricket-related activities.

Afghanistan will next play three ODIs against Pakistan in Sri Lanka in September.

Shaun Tait appointed Afghanistan’s bowling coach ahead of Pakistan series

Former Australia pacer Shaun Tait has been appointed the bowling coach of Afghanistan national cricket team with immediate effect, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) made the announcement.

The development came just ahead of Afghanistan’s ODI series against Pakistan in Hambantota, Sri Lanka next month.

It will be the first time when Tait, who represented Australia in all three formats of the game between 2004 and 2016, will be in a coaching position in international cricket.

Tait, a right-arm pacer, has scalped 5, 62, and 28 wickets in three Tests and 35 ODIs and 21 T20Is respectively.

Tait is a level-two certified coach from Cricket Australia and has worked as a bowling coach for Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League (BBL). He also serves as a bowling coach for the Bangla Tigers in the Abu Dhabi T10 League and is a member of the coaching set-up for Durham in this year’s Royal London One-Day Cup.