With most of Afghanistan facing a crisis situation after the Taliban swept into most of the country, President Ashraf Ghani had to flee, and millions of citizens were affected. Questions were raised about the future of Afghanistan cricket but there seems to be some positive development on that front according to the latest cricket news which is the nomination of the new chairman for the cricket board. Over the years, Afghanistan cricketers have become global stars in the international cricket platform and the team captain Rashid Khan has emphasized how cricket can bring some joy to the conflict-torn nation.
Appointment of the new acting chairman of Afghanistan cricket board
Azizullah Fazil, former chief of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) was named as the acting chairman of the ACB on the 22nd of August. This was the first new appointment since the Taliban’s takeover of the country bruised by war.
Fazil had formerly served as the chairman of ACB from September 2018 to July 2019. According to a tweet from the ACB, Fazil has been re-appointed as ACB’s acting chairman to oversee the leadership and decisions on the course of actions for the upcoming cricket tournaments.
As per the ESPNCricinfo website’s latest cricket news report, the Taliban members met with the ACB officials on 22nd august post which Fazil reclaimed his post that he had vacated after Afghanistan cricket team claimed the last spot in the 2019 world cup in England.
In a statement to PTI (Press Trust of India), Afghanistan cricket board CEO, Hamid Shinwari said that he anticipated the cricketing activities to go smoothly without any interruptions as Taliban has extended support for the game.
Shiwnari has further told India Today in its latest cricket news report that the Taliban has always generously encouraged the progress of cricket since their establishment, and he does not expect any hurdles for the sport development in Afghanistan under their new regime as well. He further added that the key players will not have any obstacles in representing their country on any cricketing platform in any country.
In another prominent development, the Taliban met with the administrators and cricketers of the Afghanistan men’s cricket team in early August and assured their complete support to the team and the sport for their journey ahead. This assurance was given by Anas Haqqani, a member of the Taliban’s political office and negotiating team during a meeting with the national cricket team members.
Future of the Impending Sri Lanka Tournament
Clarifying the details about the postponed series of Afghanistan against Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Shinwari said that the Afghanistan players were prepared to face Pakistan in Sri Lanka but the series could not take place due to the unprecedented developments in the country. He thanked the Sri Lankan government and Sri Lankan President for supporting Afghanistan cricket during these trying times, but it was unfortunate that they could not hold the tournament despite garnering support and preparing well.
Pakistan too offered to host the tournament but there were several logistics issues, and the Afghanistan team could not fly out because commercial flights from Kabul airport are currently suspended. Then after deep deliberation, the players mutually agreed to defer the matches keeping the current circumstances in mind.
The appointment of the new acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board is a welcome change to the battle-ridden Afghanistan. This positive latest cricket news has come as a big relief for the Afghanistan cricket team and the cricket lovers in Afghanistan and around the world.