The forthcoming ODI series between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been moved from Sri Lanka to Pakistan after the Sri Lankan government imposed a 10-day nationwide lockdown in their country. This is the second time that the series will shift in the last one month. The original idea was to conduct the series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
After Taliban seized control in Afghanistan, there was a lot of speculation around the future of the series. But both Afghanistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Cricket Board ensured the series will go ahead as it was planned before. According to a report by ESPNcricinfo, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) CEO Hamid Shinwari confirmed the latest developments of the series being shifted to Pakistan.
First bilateral series between Pakistan and Afghanistan
This will be the first bilateral series between Pakistan and Afghanistan, as both of them have faced each other only in tournaments like World Cup and Asia Cup before.
Earlier, Pakistan had also issued visas to Afghan cricketers. Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had announced on Sunday, saying that he hoped the series will bring "smiles to the faces of their people".
With Taliban forces capturing Afghanistan, the country is experiencing political turmoil. Meanwhile, there are no commercial flights available from Kabul city. The Afghanistan cricket team was granted Pakistani visas as they were unable to board flights from their own country due to the Taliban takeover.
Afghan cricketers to arrive in Pakistan by Monday or Tuesday
According to reports, the Afghan cricketers are expected to arrive in Pakistan either by Monday or Tuesday.
“Yes, the entire Afghan cricket contingent has been granted visas by Pakistan and they are expected to cross the border into Pakistan anytime on Monday or Tuesday,” a source told The News.
The ODI series was scheduled to be played between September 3-September 9. Notably, ACB and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are in contact and will soon announce the new dates and schedule for the series.