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Pakistan-Afghanistan series postponed until 2022

Afghanistan’s three-match ODI series against Pakistan has been indefinitely postponed until 2022.

On Monday afternoon, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that they have accepted Afghanistan Cricket Board’s (ACB) proposal to postpone the series.

ACB claimed that postponement of the ODI series was largely down to their players’ mental health issues, increase in coronavirus cases, lack of broadcasters, and disruption in flight operations in Kabul.

ACB informed PCB that due to the current political situation in Kabul, their players are not in an ideal mental space.

After numerous decisions made by both the cricketing boards regarding the schedule, they couldn’t come to terms with any logistical changes and have decided to organize this ODI series in 2022. 

Initially, ACB chairman Hamid Shinwari confirmed to the cricketing broadcasters that they tried to move the series to Pakistan and then decided to move the series to Sri Lanka, but they couldn’t come to a mutual consent with PCB considering the situation in Kabul. 

Currently, there are no commercial flights taking place in Kabul due to the Taliban takeover in the country.

Moreover, the Sri Lankan government also announced a 10-day lockdown on Friday, after they recorded the highest coronavirus cases and 187 deaths in one day since the emergence of the pandemic. 

After the ACB had agreed to schedule the series in Sri Lanka, their plan was initially to travel to Pakistan by road.

Afterward, they would fly to Dubai, and then to Colombo to commence the ODI series. However, this difficult route had its share of roadblocks because of the coronavirus protocols. 

“Until this evening, we had an agreement in principle to play the ODI series in Pakistan and we are thankful to our neighbors for their continuous support” Shinwari stated. 

Unfortunately, some situations are not within the hands of cricket boards and ACB had to prioritize their players’ mental health issues more than anything else. After looking at some of the players face-to-face, Shinwari understood that they are not prepared. He felt that the team required a camp that allowed their players to adapt to the weather and conditions

“Now with the delay of preparations regarding the Sri Lankan tour, we have lost a lot of valuable time. Therefore, we feel that going to Pakistan without any preparations in such a short period is not a great idea for our players,” Shinwari concluded. 

The postponement of this series is a massive negative point for the welfare of Afghanistan cricketing fans.

They would think that the current political situation along with the escalating coronavirus cases couldn’t have come at a worse time.

This would have been the first time that Pakistan would have played Afghanistan since Pakistan’s nail-biting win over their neighbors in the World Cup 2019.

Both teams have locked horns four times in their cricketing history, with the men in green winning every encounter.

Pakistan are currently in West Indies, trying to level the two-game Test series. Windies took home the first clash to take the lead.

The T20I series was marred by rain interruptions but the visitors won it 1-0.

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