Asghar Afghan, the former Afghanistan captain slammed Australian Test captain Tim Paine for his ‘all teams should boycott’ comments at Afghanistan team ahead of the forthcoming T20 World Cup 2021, set to start from October 17 in Oman and UAE.
With the state of Afghanistan in political turmoil and the Taliban not in support of women’s cricket, Tim Paine had stated that the current teams would not love to play against a country that is taking off opportunities from half of their population. Tim Paine also asserted that there’s no word from the apex body ICC on the matter.
Asghar Afghan Slams Tim Paine’s Statements Of Boycotting Afghanistan
After coming across Tim Paine’s harsh comments, dejected Asghar Afghan slammed the Aussie Test skipper and urged all nations to support Afghanistan and its national team.
“I don’t think we want to be associated with countries that are taking opportunities or things off literally half their population,” Paine told on SEN radio
“We’ve heard nothing from the ICC, which is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in just over a month’s time. I’d imagine it’s impossible (for Afghanistan to take part) if teams are pulling out of playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores. How a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see,” he had said.
Tim Paine went a step further and stated that countries might consider boycotting playing against Afghanistan in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
“It’s (boycott) something that teams will discuss on the eve of that World Cup”.
Tim Paine, Australia Test captain said the chances of its first-ever test against Afghanistan going ahead are “not looking good” with the Taliban unwilling to let women play cricket and questioned why the game’s governing body had remained quiet on the issue.
Australia is due to face the Afghanistan men’s team in Hobart from November 27 but Cricket Australia said on Thursday it would not host the side if reports that women’s cricket would not be supported in the war-torn country were substantiated.
Asghar Afghan Appeals To All Nations To Support Afghanistan And Asks Tim Paine To Refrain From Aggressive Statements To Isolate Afghanistan
After coming across the comments, Asghar Afghan urged Tim Paine to refrain from giving such statements and appealed to all nations to support Afghanistan and its national team. He also stated that Tim Paine made his statement without knowing the actual circumstances.
“Mr. Paine! The Afghan National Cricket Team has the right to play not only in this World Cup but in all ICC organized tournaments/events in accordance with the rules and regulations of ICC, and I’m sure that our brave National Heroes will perform their best in it and showcase their elite Talents Inshallah.
As a Sportsperson and Professional Cricketer you know that it require too much of hard work and dedication to reach this level of Cricket. For a less privileged Cricketing Nation as Afghanistan with zero infrastructure and support reaching where we are right now and playing shoulder to shoulder with top 10 countries require sheer determination, passion and talent,” said Asghar Afghan.
“Therefore, you should refrain from delivering aggressive statements which would result in isolating the Afghan Cricket. Cricket is now the No#1 Sport in Afghanistan and is being followed by nearly 30 million Afghans,” said Asghar Afghan.
He added, “This shows, either you are unaware of the circumstances or talking out of contradiction; in any case you are mistreating Afghan Cricket and all the gains we have obtained with hardship in the past decade. (Sports should be separated from politics)”
Afghanistan named its T20 World Cup squad on Thursday with Rashid Khan as the skipper, but the star spinner immediately resigned from captaincy, stating he was not consulted before picking the 15-member side. Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi has been named Afghanistan skipper for the upcoming T20 World Cup after star spinner Rashid Khan stepped down from captaincy protesting the selection of the national squad without his inputs.
Afghanistan T20 Squad: Rashid Khan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Shahzad, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Naveen ul Haq, Hamid Hassan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Qais Ahmed Reserves: Afsar Zazai, Farid Ahmed Malik