The three-match One Day International (ODI) series between Afghanistan and Pakistan has been postponed due to ‘disruption of flight operations’ in Kabul, confirmed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday.
The apex body of Pakistan cricket and Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) have agreed by mutual consent to reschedule the series, originally planned from September 1-8 to next year in Sri Lanka.
“The ACB had contacted the PCB on Monday evening, requesting to postpone the series for 2022 citing disruption of flight operations in Kabul, increased Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka, the mental health of their players and non-availability of broadcast equipment,” PCB said in a statement.
“We have worked very closely with the Afghanistan Cricket Board to make this series happen and were keen to play them in the inaugural bilateral series, but we understand their challenges and have, therefore, agreed to reschedule the series for 2022,” said PCB Director International Zakir Khan.
“The PCB historically enjoys an excellent relationship with the ACB and will do everything to ensure the series is played in 2022 as it is critical for both sides in terms of direct qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023,” added Khan.
“PCB has accepted ACB’s request to postpone next month’s ODI series due to players’ mental health issues, disruption in flight operations in Kabul, lack of broadcast facilities, and increased Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka. Both boards will try to reschedule the series in 2022,” wrote Pakistan Cricket official Twitter handle.
PCB has accepted ACB's request to postpone next month’s ODI series due to players’ mental health issues, disruption in flight operations in Kabul, lack of broadcast facilities and increased Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka. Both boards will try to reschedule the series in 2022.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) August 23, 2021
Notably, on Sunday, Azizullah Fazli was reappointed as the new chairman of the cricketing body of Afghanistan. Fazli served his last term as ACB chairman from September 2018 to July 2019. He was replaced by Farhan Yusufzai after Afghanistan finished at the bottom in the 2019 World Cup in England.
Interestingly, Fazil’s appointment came just a few days after the Taliban seized control over major parts of the country, including Kabul.