The Afghanistan men’s cricket team could face an expulsion from the 2021 T20 World Cup if they are asked to play under the Taliban flag, reports suggest. The marquee tournament is set to begin in October 2021 in UAE and Oman. 16 nations participating in the tournament will have to submit their flags under which they will be playing before the start of the mega-event.
Cricket in Afghanistan is under turmoil since Taliban took over Afghanistan in last month. It has stated that the women in their country will not be allowed to play sport, including cricket. Since then their men’s cricket team is also facing uncertain times as Cricket Australia stated that it will not play a One-Off Test against them if Taliban’s view on women’s cricket doesn’t change.
ICC may call meeting to decide Afghanistan’s participation
Although it is not confirmed under which flag the Afghanistan men’s cricket team will play in the forthcoming T20 World Cup, the ICC is reportedly monitoring the situation closely. As reported, ICC may call a meeting to decide Afghanistan’s participation in the T20 World Cup if the country plays under the Taliban flag. Members of the board can vote to decide whether to allow Afghanistan or not. Recently, Afghanistan Cricket Board’s Chief Executive Hamid Shinwari was fired from his position and Nasseb Zadran Khan has been announced as his successor for the post.
Reports further add that ICC has not decided which team will replace Afghanistan if they are expelled from the upcoming multi-nation tournament. The international board is also set to discuss the country’s full membership in November.
Afghanistan’s schedule in 2021 T20 World Cup
Afghanistan is placed in Group 2 of the Super 12 for the upcoming T20 World Cup. They are placed alongside India, Pakistan, New Zealand, while 2 qualifiers will also accompany them as the tournament progresses. Afghanistan is scheduled to play against a qualifier on October 25. They will then face Pakistan on October 29 followed by another qualifier on October 31. They are scheduled to play India on November 3, followed by New Zealand on November 7.
The T20 World Cup 2021 will begin on October 17 as 8 teams from Group A and B will play the first round of the tournament in order to qualify for the Super 12