Former Afghanistan All-rounder Mirwais Ashraf, 33, Appointed As ACB's Acting Chairman
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Former Afghanistan All-rounder Mirwais Ashraf, 33, Appointed As ACB’s Acting Chairman

Mirwais Ashraf with Afghanistan cricket team. Credits: Facebook
Mirwais Ashraf with Afghanistan cricket team. Credits: Facebook

The Taliban Wednesday appointed former all-rounder Mirwais Ashraf as acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board to replace Azizullah Fazli, who was in charge for just two months.

Afghanistan media reported the decision was taken after demands by national players while meeting the Taliban officials in Abu Dhabi during the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup.

Mirwais Ashraf (Credits Twitter)
Mirwais Ashraf (Credits Twitter)

Mirwais Ashraf Was Appointed Acting Chairman Of The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) By The Taliban

Mirwais Ashraf played 46 one-day internationals and 25 Twenty20 internationals, his last in 2016. Afghanistan bowed out of the Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 stage after winning only two of their five Group 2 matches, losing to heavyweights Pakistan, India, and New Zealand. In addition, the country has faced political and cricketing upheavals since the Taliban took over following the withdrawal of US and NATO troops in late August this year.
The decision to appoint a new acting chairman was taken by the Taliban after consultation with the Afghanistan players in Abu Dhabi during the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup.

“The prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has appointed Mirwais Ashraf as acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB),” said the Taliban statement.

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul (Image Credit: AP)
The Taliban fighters take control of the Afghan presidential palace after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)

The Taliban’s hardline stance on not allowing women to play cricket prompted calls for the Afghan team to be banned, with Australian Test skipper Tim Paine believing teams will refuse to play them.

Afghanistan Will Tour Zimbabwe For 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is After One-Off Test Against Australia Postponed

Cricket Australia on Friday postponed a Test match against Afghanistan — the first scheduled between the two nations — in Brisbane later this month, saying they will host the match only once the situation is clearer. The International Cricket Council — which has rules stating all member countries should have both men’s and women’s teams — has been cautious, saying it will discuss the matter in a board meeting later this month.

Australia has so far played three international matches against Afghanistan. All three were ODIs, the latest being a World Cup 2019 contest. - REUTERS
Australia has so far played three international matches against Afghanistan. All three were ODIs, the latest being a World Cup 2019 contest. – REUTERS

Still, the ACB announced its team will tour Zimbabwe for three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals next month. The dates of the matches are yet to be finalized. Afghanistan posted wins against Scotland and Namibia in the Super 12 stages of the tournament. The T20 World Cup also saw Afghanistan veteran cricketer Asghar Afghan announcing his retirement from the game, after more than a decade with the Afghanistan side.

Mirwais Ashraf has featured in 46 ODIs and 24 T20Is for the Afghanistan side. While the 33-year-old scored 399 runs in the ODI format of the game, Mirwais Ashraf amassed 126 runs in T20I cricket. The right-arm pacer also picked up 46 wickets in the ODI format of the game, while he scalped 14 scalps in T20I cricket.

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