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Afghan Cricket team has good chance of competing in T20 World Cup, believes ACB acting chairman

With the new regime, Taliban, banning women from playing sports, Cricket Australia has already said that the one-off Test against Afghanistan will be scrapped.

Published: 10th September 2021 11:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2021 11:01 PM   |  A+A-

Afghanistan Cricket Board chief Azizullah Fazli

Afghanistan Cricket Board chief Azizullah Fazli (Photo | YouTube screengrab)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: They might be facing isolation but Afghanistan Cricket Board acting chairman Haji Azizullah Fazli believes the men's team will not only compete in the T20 World Cup scheduled to begin next month but also come up with remarkable performance during the event.

With the new regime, Taliban, banning women from playing sports, Cricket Australia has already said that the one-off Test against Afghanistan will be scrapped. However, Fazli is optimistic the issue will be sorted out soon.

Australia Test captain Tim Paine also felt that it would be "impossible" for Afghanistan to compete in the T20 World Cup as other countries might refuse to play against them following Taliban's decision. As per ICC rules, all Test playing nations must have a women's team as well.

"We are in talks with CA and International Cricket Council. The new government has brought in a few changes but that's a policy of the country. In our journey from being an affiliate member in 2001 to a full ICC member in 2017, all members including India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have helped us grow as a cricketing nation. India even provided us venues where we hosted international teams. We hope the cooperation will continue," Fazli told this daily from Kabul.

Notably, ACB CEO Hamid Shinwari on Friday had requested CA to reconsider its decision not to host Afghanistan men's team for a Test in November. "We ask Cricket Australia and the whole cricketing world to keep the door open for us, walk with us, do not isolate us and avoid penalising us for our cultural and religious environment," Shinwari said in a statement.

Speaking on their premier spinner Rashid Khan stepping down as captain of the 18-member squad for the marquee event, Fazli said, "all-rounder Mohammad Nabi has been named the captain of the side. Rashid told us that he is not mentally ready to lead the side in such a big event and we understand his situation. But he is an integral part of the team and will be our key player when Afghanistan take the field in Dubai and Oman for the showpiece event."

"As the captain and responsible person for the nation, I reserve the right to be part of the selection of the team," the 22-year-old spinner had said in a post shared on his Twitter handle minutes after the squad was announced on Thursday night. Fazli also confirmed that Nabi and Rashid are in Dubai preparing for the Indian Premier League scheduled to resume on September 19. 

"Other members of the squad had a practice match yesterday (Thursday). I firmly believe the ICC and other full members will support our cause and let us compete in the T20 World Cup. I am hopeful a positive decision would be made in a few days," signed off Fazli.



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