Afghanistan Cricket Board lifts 'playing' ban on Mohammad Shahzad

Afghanistan Cricket Board lifts ‘playing’ ban on Mohammad Shahzad

However, his contract ban will continue till August 2020.

Mohammad Shahzad
Mohammad Shahzad. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), in August 2019, had suspended wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad for breaching the code of conduct. The details of the breach were not made public by the ACB, while Shahzad called it a conspiracy against him. This had stemmed from Shahzad being replaced midway during the 2019 World Cup by the board due to his knee injury.

But the keeper had called out the board on social media and questioned his replacement, calling himself fully fit. He mentioned that only the captain, Gulbadin Naib, the coach, and the manager knew about him being ruled out and he was sent back home unfairly and replaced by Ikram Ali Khil. He was earlier suspended indefinitely by the board for not asking permission from the ACB to travel outside the country, as per rules.

“I still don’t know why I was ruled unfit when I was fit enough to play. Some people on the board (ACB) have conspired against me. Only manager, doctor and the captain knew that I was going to be replaced. Even the coach (Phil Simmons) found out much later. It was heart-breaking,” the experienced Shahzad had said as quoted by Business Standard.

Afghanistan Cricket Board revokes ban on Mohammad Shahzad

However, it seems, the ice between the player and the cricket board has thawed a bit as the Afghanistan cricket board has now lifted the ban on the cricketer, after accepting his mercy plea. This was announced on Twitter, which said that chairman Farhan Yusefzai had accepted his appeal, but, the contract ban will continue till the date it was imposed in August 2020.

Shahzad will be looking forward to making a claim for himself in the Afghanistan team for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. The keeper has already missed quite a lot of cricket for his country due to the ban. The newest Asian Test nation defeated Bangladesh in their one-off Test while beating the West Indies in a series of three T20I matches.

The 33-year-old opener-keeper has had a brilliant career so far with 2727 runs in 84 ODIs with 6 centuries while scoring 1936 runs in 65 T20Is with one century to his name. An entertainer on the field and an ultra-aggressive batsman at the top, Shahzad has a legion of fans thanks to his explosive hitting style, comparable to Shahid Afridi.