Former Afghan all-rounder Ashraf appointed new cricket manager

Afghanistan's former all-rounder Mirwais Ashraf.  - Facebook / Ashraf.Mirwais
Afghanistan’s former all-rounder Mirwais Ashraf. – Facebook / Ashraf.Mirwais

KABUL: Afghanistan’s former all-rounder Mirwais Ashraf has been named acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) by the Taliban-led interim government.

Ashraf replaces Azizullah Fazli, who was only in charge for two months.

Afghan media reported that the decision was made at the request of national players while meeting Taliban officials in Abu Dhabi during the ongoing T20 World Cup.

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

Ashraf played 46 one-day internationals and 25 T20 internationals, his last in 2016.

Afghanistan bowed out of the T20 World Cup Super 12 stage after winning just two of their five Group 2 matches and losing to Pakistan, India and New Zealand.

The country has faced political and cricket upheavals since the Taliban took over following the withdrawal of US and NATO troops in late August this year.

The Taliban’s tough stance on not allowing women to play cricket led to the Afghan team being banned, and Australian test skipper Tim Payne believed teams would refuse to play them.

Cricket Australia on Friday postponed a test match against Afghanistan – the first planned between the two nations – in Brisbane later this month, saying they will only host the match when the situation is clearer.

The International Cricket Council – which has rules that all member states must have both men’s and women’s teams – has been cautious and said it will discuss the matter at a board meeting later this month.

Still, the ACB announced that its team will tour Zimbabwe for three one-day internationals and three T20 internationals next month.

The dates of the matches have not yet been set.

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