The day after Taliban took control of the Afghan capital Kabul, the country’s cricket board said its team’s assignments would be honoured as there has been no interference from any quarters.
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chief executive officer Hamid Shinwari said players and officials were safe and ACB is planning to have its third camp before the team flies to Sri Lanka next week.
“We are going there (Sri Lanka) and playing Pakistan for a series. Overall situation is great (in Afghanistan). It was like, two days was needed for regime change and at that time people were in fear, but now we have normal traffic for people and other official activity. Most probably, all offices will be open from tomorrow,” Shinwari told The Indian Express.
He stressed that the situation was under control. “All is well with cricket. Even before, there was no interference in cricketing activities in Afghanistan. We have support from there too and we are playing all our activities as per schedule.”
The two marquee players of Afghanistan- Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi – are not in the country. Khan is playing The Hundred in England, but his family is stuck in Kabul while Nabi is in Dubai. On August 11, Nabi had urged leaders of the world to come forward in helping Afghanistan.
“As an Afghan, I bleed to see where my beloved country is today. Afghanistan descends into Chaos and there has been a substantial rise in calamity and tragedy and is currently in humanitarian crisis. Families are forced to leave their homes behind and head to Kabul with an unknown future, as their homes are being seized. I appeal to the leaders of the world; please don’t let Afghanistan go into chaos. We need your Support. We want Peace,” he had tweeted.
It’s not clear whether the new regime will have an impact on cricket. When asked whether Taliban would support cricket, Shinwari said, “The beauty of cricket is that it is loved by everyone. Be it any situation. Since the last 20 years, we have been getting support from all factions of the society including Taliban. We don’t see any harm for the cricketers, we haven’t witnessed one casualty in the past 20 years. I don’t see any problem with the sports, particularly with cricket. “
As per Shinwari, the common man does not know politics and just live their lives. “The regime has changed here, they (common man) have to feed their family and kids. Generally speaking, the situation is getting far better compared to last week,” he explains.
The ACB has appointed Shaun Tait as the bowling coach and is in talks with former Sri Lanka batsman Hashan Tillakaratne to be their batting coach. Former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener is the head coach. As per Shinwari, all will be available in Sri Lanka with the Afghanistan team.