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ACB Relaxes Sanctions on Afghan Cricketers
- Updated: January 9, 2024
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has decided to modify its sanctions on cricketers Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Naveen-ul-Haq after a period of discord between the board and the players. The trio had previously expressed their desire to be released from central contracts to explore opportunities in T20 franchise leagues. In response, the ACB had revoked their existing No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) and barred them from obtaining further NOCs for a period of two years.
However, following what the board describes as “a comprehensive investigation” and the players’ subsequent strong desire to represent the country again, the ACB has decided to relax its initial stance. The players will now be granted a “limited” number of NOCs to participate in franchise T20 leagues while also becoming eligible for central contracts. Alongside this leniency, the players have been issued a final warning and will face wage cuts from their monthly salary and/or match fees.
The ACB’s press release outlines the possibility of granting central contracts to the players, albeit with strict monitoring of their performance and discipline in events. The statement emphasizes the importance of adhering to regulations and expresses hope that such inconveniences will be avoided in the future to uphold the prestige of Afghanistan Cricket.
ACB Chief Mirwais Ashraf commented on the development, stating, “The ACB and the rules are above all of us, and it’s important to adhere to the regulations because there are no exceptions for anyone in this regard.” He added that while the board prioritizes the prestige of Afghanistan Cricket, similar cases in the future would be dealt with more strictly.
The ACB’s decision contrasts with the approaches taken by many national boards, as most allow players flexibility to engage in overseas leagues even if they decline central contracts. Farooqi and Naveen recently played for Afghanistan in a T20I series against UAE after demonstrating a strong desire to represent the country. Both have also been named in the squad for the upcoming T20Is in India. Meanwhile, Mujeeb, who missed the UAE tour due to commitments with the Melbourne Renegades in the BBL, is set to return to the national team for the India series, marking his first T20Is since July 2023.
In summary, the ACB’s decision signifies a shift in its stance, providing some flexibility to the players while reinforcing the importance of adherence to regulations and discipline within the Afghanistan Cricket setup.
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By- Sahiba Suri