In what could only be described as good news for Afghanistan cricket, International Cricket Council (ICC) interim CEO Geoff Allardice declared that Afghanistan’s presence in the T20 World Cup 2021 is not compromised. Several sources claimed that the ICC would not allow Afghanistan to compete in the showcase event if the team opted to play underneath the Taliban flag despite the country’s continuing instability.
Afghanistan cricket has been in confusion since the Taliban took over the country’s governmental structure. With the Taliban opposing women’s cricket, Cricket Australia pushed the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) with cancelling the historic Test match in November if women’s cricket did not receive national board approval. In other bad news for ACB, the ICC allegedly proposed excluding Afghanistan from participating.
Nonetheless, the ICC dismissed the claims, noting that Afghanistan is a full member of the council. “They are a full member at the ICC and the team is preparing for the event (World Cup) at the moment (and) will be playing in (the) Group league. In terms of their participation, it is proceeding as normal,” Allardice said.
We are waiting to see how things unfold under the different regimes in Afghanistan: Allardice
Earlier month, the Taliban replaced Hamid Shinwari as chairman of the ACB with Naseed Zadran Khan. As a result, it will be important to observe what changes occur on the board. Geoff Allardice also stated that the ICC would be waiting to see how much changeover and new rules ACB will implement.
“Yes, I think, when the change of regime took place in Afghanistan in August, we have been in regular contact with their cricket board, the Afghanistan Cricket Board and our primary function are to support the development of cricket in that country through the member board,” said Allardice.
“We are waiting to see how things unfold under the different regimes in that country and we will do that through the cricket board. The ICC Board will consider it when they next meet, which is looking like at the end of the T20 World Cup,” he added.