The Taliban have sacked the Afghanistan Cricket Board executive director Hamid Shinwari. Shinwari posted on his official Facebook page on Monday that he had been fired by Anas Haqqani, the younger brother of the Taliban’s new Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani. (More Cricket News)
Shinwari said he was not given any reason for his dismissal, but was told he would be replaced by Naseebullah Haqqani.
It isn’t clear if the new Afghanistan Cricket Board chief is a relative of Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is sought by the FBI for questioning in connection with several high-profile attacks on Kabul during the Taliban’s 20-year war with successive US-backed governments.
The Taliban’s order banning women from sports - including cricket - has caused an international backlash. The Australian Cricket Board last week cancelled a match with Afghanistan’s men’s cricket team to protest the banning of women from sports in Afghanistan.
The one-off Test match between Australia and Afghanistan was scheduled to start from November 27 at Blundstone Arena in Australia. Shinwari had then appealed to Cricket Australia to reconsider its decision and also urged the whole world not to isolate them.
“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 penalising us for our cultural and religious environment,” Shinwari had said in a statement.
The official Facebook page of the Afghanistan Cricket Board also announced Naseebullah Haqqani as the new executive director.