Afghanistan calls for support from its members ahead of crucial ICC meeting


The logo of the International Cricket Council (ICC) at ICC headquarters in Dubai, October 31, 2010. REUTERS / Nikhil Monteiro

NEW DELHI, October 18 (Reuters) – The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has requested support from other full members of the International Cricket Council ahead of next month’s crucial meeting where the future of the game in that country Southeast Asia will probably be decided.

The remarkable rise of the conflict-torn country has been cricket’s biggest fairytale story of late, but Afghanistan faces isolation after the Taliban took control of the country in August.

Cricket Australia (CA) has already threatened to cancel next month’s unique test in Hobart between men’s teams if the new government in Kabul does not allow women to play the sport.

Global governing body ICC has taken a wait-and-see approach to whether Afghanistan can continue as a full member – allowing it to play test matches – but will discuss the matter at a board meeting after the Twenty20 World Cup in the Middle East.

“ACB is committed to working for the development of cricket in the country and hopes full members of the ICC will lend their support,” Afghan board chairman Azizullah Fazli told Reuters.

Fazli said last month that ACB was committed to women’s cricket but was awaiting instructions from the Taliban government on its future.

Taliban officials have said they will not repeat the harsh rule of the previous Taliban government, which prohibited the education of most girls and prohibited women from going out in public without a male guardian.

CA chief executive Nick Hockley said the Hobart test was likely to be postponed until there is more clarity on the impact of the Taliban takeover on sport in Afghanistan .

Fazli said he would meet with CA officials on the sidelines of the Twenty20 World Cup and try to convince them to continue the game as planned.

“We are in contact with CA management regarding the test match, and soon we will meet with CA management to discuss it and strengthen the friendship of CA and ACB,” Fazli said in text messages.

The ACB chief added that the uncertainty would not affect the performance of the Afghan team led by Captain Mohammad Nabi.

“The Afghan national cricket team is well prepared to do their best in the T20 World Cup,” he said.

Afghanistan will begin their Super 12 stage campaign with a October 25 clash against a qualifying match in Sharjah.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; edited by Richard Pullin

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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