Afghanistan cancels series against Pakistan after Kabul attack
"Pakistan is a country where terrorists are housed and provided safe haven," said ACB in a statement.
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A few days ago, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) agreed upon a friendly T20 series to be played between the two teams. The first match was scheduled to be held in Kabul, while the second one was to be played in Lahore. But ACB’s decision was not to the liking of the fans. They protested their board’s decision on Twitter, with the hashtag #NoCricketwithPakistan.
On Wednesday, a suicide bombing incident hit Kabul. A bomb set off by a suicide attacker, exploded in the diplomatic quarter near the German Embassy and the Afghan presidential palace in the morning rush hour. Reports suggest that at least 90 people were killed in the attack, while over 400 injured.
The official Twitter handle of ACB tweeted after the blast “ACB cancells friendly matches including initially agreed terms of mutual cricketing relationship with PCB #kabulblast.” The use of the hashtag #kabulblast suggests that the decision was taken as a protest against the attacks in Kabul.
— Afghan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) May 31, 2017
In a statement released by the board, ACB mentioned that they are cancelling the series against Pakistan so as to ensure the safety of their people. They also shunned all mutual relations with Pakistan and even called the neighbours a country where “terrorists are housed and provided safe haven”. Their statement read-
Their statement read- “The ACB administration would like to offer its prayers and thoughts to the victims of today’s attack in Kabul and pray for the speedy recovery of those injured in the attack. By killing innocent and destitute people today, the enemies of Afghanistan’s peace and stability showed that they are not worthy of friendship and will not change their stance against Afghans. In light of the findings of security services and calls by the Afghan people, the ACB hereby cancel all kinds of cricket matches and mutual relationship agreement with the Pakistan Cricket Board.
“No agreement of friendly matches and mutual relationship agreement is valid with a country where terrorists are housed and provided safe haven,” it stated.
PCB is bewildered at the decision taken by ACB. A number of Pakistani cricketers like Umar Akmal, Sohail Tanvir, Kamran Akmal and Rumman Raees were expected to feature in Afghanistan’s Shpageeza Cricket League. But following ACB’s decision to curb all relations with PCB, the participation of Pakistani cricketers in SCL is in jeopardy.