The Taliban wanted the ICC to replace the Afghan flag, make changes to the national anthem

Afghanistan’s national cricket team is quite lucky to participate in the ongoing T20 World Cup in the UAE. Next time, the 11-man squad may not be able to compete in such a high-profile event because the International Cricket Council (ICC) has yet to decide whether to suspend the Afghan team’s membership or let them play, TRT World reported. .

The ICC, the global governing body for cricket, does not recognize the Taliban as a legitimate ruling force in Afghanistan.

A source in Afghanistan’s cricket board told TRT World that because the ICC had prepared the match settlement for the T20 World Cup before the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, it could not disqualify the team at the last minute.

The Taliban also had a bone to pick with the ICC. They wanted the governing body to replace the Afghan flag with its own, in addition to requesting changes to the country’s national anthem, the report said.

“They wanted players to sing the anthem without music,” said the Cricket Board official, who wished to remain anonymous.

The two sides eventually resolved their disagreements, allowing the Afghan team to participate in the championship, the report added.

“For the ICC, it was not an easy choice to disqualify the Afghan team at the last minute. They had to put their policy aside. They knew they would lose tens of thousands of TV viewers and hundreds of live spectators who love watching the world – famous Afghan cricketers like Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Zadran play, “the board official added.

And for the Taliban, it was in line with the group’s attempt to legitimize their rule in the eyes of the world to let the team compete in the T20 World Cup, the report reads.

A few weeks before the World Cup began, however, there was much speculation that the Taliban could ban the cricket team from playing in the oil-rich kingdom.

But that fear was allayed on October 6, when Qatar’s foreign ministry, at the request of the Taliban’s interim government, gave the Afghanistan team permission to attend a training camp ahead of the World Cup, the report said.

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