Afghanistan Cricket Board may allow their national cricketers to take part in only three franchise-based T20 leagues in order to ensure their availability in domestic tournaments.
ACB recently formed a 14-member technical committee to observe and review the present cricketing structure currently in place. Following their assessment, they’ve come up with a new plan of action to raise its standards.
Afghanistan Cricket Board Will Reduce Players Participation And Allow Its Players To Take Part In 3 Franchise Based T20 Global Leagues
The technical committees had already discussed a couple of times on different aspects to take the game forward in the war-torn country considering they will have to report back to the top ACB management with specific plans on what needs to be done so that the board can govern the game better.
Afghanistan cricketers are a hot commodity in the world of franchise-based T20 cricket. They feature regularly in almost every big T20 tournament around the globe at the expense of skipping their domestic tournaments, considering their presence is extremely low in competitions played in their own backyard.
“Our (Technical committee) plan is to discuss with ACB high-ups regarding the participation of our leading national cricketers in the domestic tournament,” Raees Ahmadzai, part of the newly-formed technical committee said.
“Maybe the Afghanistan Cricket Board will reduce their (players’) participation in different franchise leagues and ask the players to take part in only three franchise-based T20 leagues in a year and they can choose their options as it is their choice,” he said.
“There are the recommendations from the selection committee – that in different Test nations, first-class cricket is a priority and we have to follow the same path as players will need to play first-class cricket to get selected in Test squad,” he said.
“You know T20 team selection is easy as most of our players are playing in different T20 leagues around the world. But when your top cricketers are not participating in domestic cricket, then the new generation will not become good cricketers. So let’s see but I am sure more than 90% of national players will take part in domestic cricket from next year,” he said.
ACB’s 14-member technical committee includes – Abdulwali Amin, Ahmad Shah Suliman Khil, Allah Dad Noori, Dawlat Khan Ahmadzai, Ihsan Obaid, Menhaj Raz, Mohammad Khan, Nazeem Jar, Mohammad Salam Afghan, Nawroz Mangal, Noor Malikzai, Raees Khan Ahmadzai, Shahid Alokozai, and Taj Malik Alam.
Afghanistan players participate in the leagues such as the Indian Premier League, Pakistan Super League, The Hundred, Bangladesh Premier League, Caribbean Premier League, Big Bash League in Australia. Their participation in these leagues means they miss the domestic tournaments.
Afghanistan Cricket Board’s Raees Khan Added The Committee Will Bring Overseas Curators To Develop Local Ground Staff
Raees Khan, who is very vocal regarding promoting fast bowlers, added that the committee will recommend bringing overseas curators to develop their local ground staff so that they can produce wickets to encourage fast bowlers.
”For the next season you know we want to prepare a good fast bowling wicket, good seaming wicket, bouncy wicket. And the cricket committee discussed… you know we need a good curator to help the other local curators to make a new good wicket for the fast bowlers,” he said.
Afghanistan will play 37 ODIs, 12 T20Is & 3 Tests in 2022-23, according to the Future Tour Program of ICC, apart from taking part in various ICC & ACC events in the next two years. Afghanistan will kickstart their season in 2022 in January by hosting the Netherlands for a three-match ODI series which is part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League in Qatar.
Following the series against the Netherlands, Afghans will tour Zimbabwe in January-February to play three ODIs while they are scheduled to host Australia & Pakistan for three ODIs. They will then travel to India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka to play three series (away) at the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League till 2023. Afghanistan so far has played only one Super League series and they earned full 30 points by clean-sweeping the Irish earlier this year.
The likes of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are familiar faces in almost every major T20 league including the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Big Bash League. The Taliban takeover of the country was followed by the resignation of Rashid Khan as the T20I captain and later the removal of CEO Hamid Shinwari. Adding to the raging fire, Cricket Australia decided to scrap their maiden Test against Australia later in the year.
Asghar Afghan has played six Tests, 114 ODIs, and 74 T20Is for Afghanistan. The right-handed batter made his debut against Scotland in 2009. Asghar Afghan played his first match in the longest format when Afghanistan locked horns with India in June 2018. He retired from international cricket during the 2021 T20I World Cup.