Taliban sack Afghanistan Cricket Board executive director Hamid Shinwari
The Afghan Taliban have sacked Hamid Shinwari, the Executive Director of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and has been replaced with a member of the Haqqani network, say reports.
Shinwari put up a post on Facebook Monday in which he said he had been asked by Anas Haqqani, a senior member of the Taliban, that he was no longer the ACB’s executive director.
“Anas Haqqani visited the cricket board and told me very clearly that my job as the (chief) executive officer was over,” Shinwari wrote.
Anas Haqqani is a senior Taliban official and the younger brother of Afghanistan’s new interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani.
Shinwari’s post, seen by AFP, was later not visible, with the page apparently deactivated. In the Pashto language post, Shinwari had said he had asked for a formal order but did not receive it.
“I was elected to the cricket board’s executive section after a transparent process, but I did not understand the reason for my dismissal,” Shinwari said.
He was later replaced by Naseebullah Haqqani, also known as Naseeb Khan, a close ally of the Haqqani network, said a source at the cricket board who did not want to be named.
“He holds a master’s degree and has knowledge of cricket as well,” the board said on its Facebook page.
Afghanistan cricket team and its management has been rocked by changes ever since the Taliban took ahold of the country, after seizing Kabul in mid-August.
The group has banned women’s cricket in the country and shortly after taking over the country, Afghanistan’s former skipper Rashid Khan announced he was stepping down from his post.
The Taliban then announced that women will no longer be able to play cricket in the country or any other sport that “exposed” them.
The move by the group to ban women from playing cricket did not sit well with many countries around the world. Cricket Australia cancelled its one-off Test match against Afghanistan, which was scheduled to take place on November 27 in Hobart.
Shinwari had pleaded with Cricket Australia (CA) to play the series so Afghanistan comes out of isolation when it comes to international cricket.
“We ask Cricket Australia and the whole cricketing world to keep the door open for us, walk with us, do not isolate us, and avoid penalizing us for our cultural and religious environment,” Shinwari had said.
The Afghanistan cricket team will next be seen in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to begin on October 17.
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