Kabul, December 25, 2023 – The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has announced a delay in the 2024 annual central contracts for national players Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazal Haq Farooqi, and Naveen Ul Haq Mureed. This decision, accompanied by a two-year withholding of No Objection Certificates (NOCs), follows the players’ request for release from their annual central contracts.
The ACB’s official statement cites the players’ involvement in commercial leagues and prioritization of personal interests over national duties as the primary reasons for this disciplinary action. A committee formed by the ACB to investigate the matter recommended the following actions:
Withholding Central Contracts: Starting January 1, 2024, the players will not be eligible for central contracts for one year, with the ACB deciding their event participation on a need basis.
Delay in Issuing NOCs: The players will be ineligible for NOCs for two years, with immediate revocation of all current NOCs.
Transparent Communication: The ACB plans to communicate its stance to the cricketing community, including the ICC, the ACC, Member Countries/Cricket Boards, and the Afghan public.
Mixed Reactions from Afghanistan’s Cricket Fans
The ACB’s decision has sparked a wave of reactions among Afghanistan’s cricket fans on social media. While some fans have lauded the Board’s decision, viewing it as a necessary step to ensure players prioritize national commitments, others have expressed skepticism. Doubts about the underlying reasons for the Board’s decision are prevalent among a section of the fanbase, suggesting that there might be more to the situation than what the ACB has publicly stated.
The Players’ Recent Contributions to Afghan Cricket
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazal Haq Farooqi, and Naveen Ul Haq Mureed have been instrumental in recent Afghan cricket successes, with their performances in the last matches bringing joy to Afghan fans. Their contributions to the team have been significant, making the ACB’s decision even more impactful and surprising to the cricketing community.
Implications for Afghan Cricket
This development has put a spotlight on the balance between national duties and personal career choices for players. The response of the affected players to the ACB’s decision and the potential impact on their careers and Afghan cricket at large remain key points of interest as the situation unfolds.