The captain of the Afghanistan team Asghar Stanikzai has criticized the Australian Test skipper Tim Paine. Apparently, he had questioned the Asian team’s right to participate in major events such as the Twenty20 World Cup. It had come to Paine’s years that Australia might be playing a test against Afghanistan in November. He said that it was not looking good with the Taliban unwilling to let women play cricket. He even questioned why the game’s governing body (ICC) remained quiet on this particular topic. Paine highlighted that the International Cricket Council remained silent despite the fact that Afghanistan is due to take part in the T20 World Cup. It starts on October 17 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Paine said, “I imagine it will be impossible if teams are pulling out against playing against them and the governments are not letting them travel to our shores. Then how a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see.”
His comments, however, did not go well with Asghar Stanikzai. He further accused Tim Paine of “mistreating Afghanistan cricket” by making such aggressive comments.
The 33-year-old took to Twitter to give his point of view. There has been a lot of tweets from Asghar regarding this issue. He tweeted, “The Afghanistan team has the right to play not only in this World Cup but in all ICC-organized tournaments or events in accordance with the rules and regulations of ICC. For a less privileged cricketing nation as Afghanistan with zero infrastructure and support, reaching where we are right now and playing shoulder to shoulder with the top 10 countries require sheer determination, passion, and talent. Therefore, you should refrain from delivering aggressive statements which would result in isolating Afghan cricket.”
Asghar further added, “Cricket is now the No#1 sport in Afghanistan and is being followed by nearly 30 million Afghans. This shows that either you are unaware of the circumstances or talking out of contradiction; in any case, you are mistreating Afghan cricket and all the gains we have obtained with hardship in the past decade. Sports should be separated from politics.”
In the next month, the T20 World Cup begins. Afghanistan is taking part in it. The cricket board of Australia said that last week they would have canceled the planned test match against Afghanistan. They would do this if they would have been able to get solid proof and reports that the Taliban rulers were not allowing women to play cricket. Asghar hit back with such force at Paine because he had urged other nations to boycott playing against Afghanistan.