ICC is monitoring the developments in Afghanistan cricket
By Tanushka Gain
on Tue Aug 17 2021
Just as the world is monitoring the situation in Afghanistan, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is also keeping an eye on this matter. The ICC office in Dubai is in constant touch with members of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) in Kabul to “fully understand the impact of the changes” taking place in the country.
One of the biggest challenges facing the ACB could be the stability of women’s cricket in the country – something that has been going strong in recent times. In 2020 for the first time 25 female players have been given central contracts, thus clearing the decks for what constitutes a national female. To take the efforts forward, skill based camps have been organized.
A source in ICC Women’s Cricket said that “it was a big development. We don’t know what is now”.
The ACB has acknowledged that as a full member of the ICC, “there is a need for a national women’s team of its own. But there is much uncertainty about what their future endeavors will be.”
Lisa Sthalekar said that I have not heard from the ICC what is happening in Afghanistan in the form of women’s cricket, but what is happening there is a matter of personal concern for me.
Despite the devastating geopolitical changes the country’s cricket community remains optimistic about the future of the game. Former ACB CEO Shafiqullah Stanikzai, under whom Afghanistan gained full membership of the ICC in 2017, said, “Cricket in Afghanistan began with refugee camps and we have come a long way. With very limited resources, we have reached full membership. Went on their way.
“I hope and pray that cricket continues to grow in Afghanistan. For us, it is a sport, beyond a game. Cricket has given us an identity, created an optimistic image of Afghans around the world. Through cricket, we have convinced the world group to invest in our talent and Afghan youth. I hope this continues.”
with Azizullah Fazli set to replace current board chairman Farhan Yousafzai. Changes are in motion at the top of the hierarchy in cricket too. A change in the board’s administration could attract the attention of the ICC. Who wants all its boards to be autonomous and free from government interference.
An ACB spokesperson said, “At the moment we are focusing on the Pakistan fight. We are confident that it will happen, has not happened because it is not relevant to us, then we will start the Shepja Cricket League (domestic league). Hikmat Hassan said that the dates may be extended.
“The team (for the Pakistan series) is already out. All the coaches have trained the players in Kabul for a month. We are well prepared for the matches in Sri Lanka and the T20 World Cup in UAE. Head coach Lance Klusener was in Kabul till Eid. We have hired Shaun Tait as bowling coach and he will join the team in Sri Lanka.”
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