Afghanistan vs Pakistan: After a mutual agreement, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) have decided to postpone the three-match ODI series between the two teams. The two were set to play their first bilateral ODI series in Hambantota next month.
The decision was taken considering the logistical challenges faced by Afghanistan which was proving problematic for the squad to travel to Sri Lanka. PCB had issued visas for the Afghanistan players and they were to reach Sri Lanka via Pakistan and United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the flights from Kabul got banned after the Taliban took over the nation.
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) CEO Hamid Shinwari informed that the boards were trying to shift the series to Pakistan as Sri Lanka announced a 10-day lockdown on Friday after it registered its highest death toll in a single day.
“Until this evening we had principally agreed to play the series in Pakistan and we are thankful to Pakistan for all the support they offered,” Shinwari said. “But then considering all the situations, especially our players’ mental readiness, we found that that they are not prepared. We needed a camp and we needed time for them to acclimatise to the weather and conditions.”
The postponement of the series also was agreed upon considering the mental health of the players in the wake of the condition of the strife-torn nation. As of now, both the boards are expecting to host the series in 2022, however, a final date will be decided in due course.
“The ACB had contacted the PCB on Monday evening, requesting to postpone the series for 2022 citing disruption of flight operations in Kabul, increased Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka, the mental health of their players and non-availability of broadcast equipment,” PCB said in a release.
“We have worked very closely with the Afghanistan Cricket Board to make this series happen and were keen to play them in the inaugural bilateral series, but we understand their challenges and have, therefore, agreed to reschedule the series for 2022. The PCB historically enjoys an excellent relationship with the ACB and will do everything to ensure the series is played in 2022 as it is critical for both the sides in terms of direct qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023,” PCB Director International Zakir Khan said.
Afghanistan’s 17-member squad for the Afghanistan vs Pakistan ODI series had assembled in Kabul last week to start their training.
Keep following MadOverCricket for the latest cricket news and cricket updates!