“Cricket was registered with the Afghanistan sports committee during the time when Taliban was ruling Afghanistan (from 1996 to 2001). With the Taliban being there, things will be better from the Afghanistan Cricket Board leadership point of view. For the last two years, the chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB, Farhan Yousufzai) was running the ACB from London. He was not coming to the office, and appointed people with poor cricket experience in administration. For the last two-three years, there was no proper domestic cricket in Afghanistan. The domestic cricket structure was in a shambles. Cricket will only go up in Afghanistan now,” former Afghanistan cricketer Khaliqdad Noori told TOI from Kabul on Wednesday.
While former England batsman Kevin Pietersen said that Afghanistan’s star leggie Rashid Khan, currently in UK playing ‘The Hundred,’ was worried for his family back home, Noori assured that things weren’t as bad as they looked at the moment.
“People are scared of the Taliban, and even I was scared when they entered Kabul. I asked my family to pack our luggage and leave, but there is peace here right now. After being in my house for a day, I decided to come out and am roaming around on the streets without fear. Their fighters told my friends that they are now bored of the war, which has gone on for 21 years. They want peace, and I hope and believe that they will keep their promise,” Noori said.
“I messaged Samiulah Shinwari, Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan (all current Afghanistan cricket team members). No one’s family is in danger. I was in Kabul a few times and I was told that Taliban loves cricket and cricketers,” said Umesh Patwal, who was Afghanistan’s batting coach from 2010 to 2018.
The ICC is in touch with the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and is monitoring the developments in Kabul.