Afghanistan Cricket Board calls for politics-free cricket amid series postponement

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has expressed its disappointment with Cricket Australia’s decision to postpone another bilateral series with Afghanistan, reaffirming its call for cricket to remain neutral and free from political influence worldwide.

Highlighting cricket’s vital role in bringing joy to the Afghan people, the ACB said it advocates for the sport to be kept separate from political interference. The board said it recognizes the pressure Cricket Australia faces from the Australian Government but emphasizes the need for resolving such matters through cooperation between the two cricket boards. Additionally, the ACB encourages the Australian government to refrain from influencing cricket policies and to instead support the sport’s development internationally.

The ACB’s leadership previously sought to negotiate with Cricket Australia, proposing alternative solutions rather than resorting to public withdrawal announcements. The board has voiced its frustration over Cricket Australia’s third cancellation of matches against Afghanistan.

The cancelled three-match T20I series was scheduled as part of the AfghanAtalan’s Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the ICC 2023-2027 International Calendar, endorsed by the ICC and initially agreed upon by the CA delegation.

This recent cancellation follows Cricket Australia’s withdrawal from a one-off test match in 2021 and a refusal to participate in a three-match ODI series in March 2023, citing governmental influence.

The ACB urges Cricket Australia to acknowledge its status as a Full Member nation and to seek alternative solutions rather than yielding to external pressures or political influences.

Remaining dedicated to fostering a politics-free environment for cricket, the Afghanistan Cricket Board is committed to engaging with the International Cricket Council, Cricket Australia, and other full member countries. The ACB aims to adhere to ICC principles, ensuring that cricket is supported and remains unaffected by political factors.