Kya cricket khelna dega Taliban| Afghanistan cricket team and Taliban. ACB CEO statement on what will happen to Afghanistan cricket team after Taliban captures Kabul| Afghanistan Taliban Crisis| Afghanistan cricket board|
Taliban and Cricket  |  Photo Credits: AP
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Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) CEO Hamid Shinwari has said that cricket will not suffer as the Taliban “likes” and supports the game, following a radical political change in the country. Shinwari, speaking to PTI from Kabul, assured that the members of the national team and their families are safe. The Taliban have taken over Afghanistan.
Star players like Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Zadran are currently playing in the ‘Hundred’ tournament in Britain. Shinwari said, “The Taliban loves cricket. They have supported us from the very beginning. They don’t interfere in our activities. Our President is active and I will be the CEO till further notice.”
Cricket found its footing in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001 when refugees from Afghanistan joined the sport in neighboring Pakistan. Shinwari said, “It can be said that cricket flourished in the era of Taliban. It is also a fact that many of our players used to practice in Peshawar and they brought this sport to the mainstream in Afghanistan.
“The good thing is that we are moving towards normalcy,” he said. People have started work. We will resume work in our office from tomorrow and the national camp will resume after a two-day break before the series against Pakistan in Sri Lanka. The rest are in Kabul. As I said they are safe.
The Cricket Board of India (BCCI) is also monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and is hopeful that the players of the country will take part in the Indian Premier League. A BCCI source said, “It is too early to react but we are keeping an eye. Nothing has changed for us and we expect Rashid and other Afghanistan players to be a part of the IPL.
Afghanistan is scheduled to play a three-match One Day International (ODI) series against Pakistan in Colombo from September 1. Shinwari said that all scheduled bilateral series will take place and the three players Rashid, Nabi and Mujeeb, who have played in the IPL, have got NOC from the board. “With the change in power, we don’t see any potential damage to cricketing activities,” Shinwari said.
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who is associated with the Hundred tournament in Britain, said that Rashid is worried about the situation at home. Pietersen told Sky Sports, “We talked at length about it here near the boundary and he’s worried. He could not take his family out of Afghanistan.
“With the pressure that he is under right now, it is not easy for him to come here and perform… forget these things,” he said.
Asadullah Khan, who stepped down as Afghanistan’s chief selector this month, also feels cricket will not suffer under Taliban rule. “I have personally been to Taliban-ruled areas. He likes sports a lot. So there should not be any problem from this point of view. “We want regular bilateral cricket matches with all the big cricketing nations including the BCCI,” he said.
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