Former Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan has come down heavily on Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine for his remark that the war-torn country is impossible to play in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Asghar said that without knowing the circumstances, he should not make offensive statements. Paine justified Cricket Australia’s decision to cancel the Test match against Afghanistan, starting November 27, saying that the Taliban had barred women from playing cricket and thus the ICC (international cricket) for a team like Afghanistan. It will be difficult to play in tournaments recognized by the Council.
In an open letter to Penn, Afghan said that according to ICC rules, the country’s team has the right to play not only in the upcoming T20 World Cup but also in other ICC tournaments.
“It takes hard work and dedication to reach this level in cricket,” said Afghan. Afghanistan being a country with less facilities in cricket, they do not have the infrastructure, yet where we are now and playing the top 10 nations side by side requires determination, passion and talent.
According to Afghan, ‘Therefore you should refrain from making aggressive statements which may result in the isolation of Afghan cricket.’ The 34-year-old former captain said that cricket is now the number one sport in Afghanistan and is followed by around 30 million Afghans.
Afghan wrote, ‘This shows that you are either unaware of the circumstances or are making such a statement in contradiction. Whatever happens, you are destroying Afghan cricket and what has been achieved through hard work in the last decade.