Afghanistan’s T20 World Cup participation could be jeopardised if they tend to play under the Taliban flag in the mega event.
As the T20 World Cup is exactly a month away from kicking off in the United Arab Emirates, teams have already named their main squad for the marquee event.
Most of the players are currently playing in IPL 2021 in UAE, where the second leg of the tournament is being staged ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Afghanistan cricket team to play under Taliban’s flag?
After the removal of executive director Hamid Shinwari by Taliban rulers, there is a sense of fear that the men’s cricket team might play under the Taliban flag in the T20 World Cup.
In the coming days, all 16 participating countries are required to submit the flags under which they will be playing.
ICC likely to forbid Afghanistan’s participation in T20 World Cup: Reports
In case the Afghanistan national team plays under the Taliban’s flag, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is likely to bar them from participating in the global event and potentially suspend them.
According to a report by The Telegraph, the ICC would call an emergency board meeting to discuss Afghanistan’s move to play under the Taliban flag at the T20 World Cup. Such a board meeting could then vote to suspend the side.
But as of now, the apex body is expecting them to play with the country’s flag as it has played in previous global events.
Afghanistan are paired with India, Pakistan, New Zealand and two other teams yet to be qualified.
The Taliban has openly said that they won’t allow women to participate in sporting activities, which indicates that the Afghanistan women’s cricket team is likely to be dissolved.
This could also adversely affect the Afghanistan men cricket team’s participation in Test cricket as according to ICC rules, a Test-playing nation must have a women’s cricket team.
Afghanistan are scheduled to play Australia in a solitary Test match in Hobart at the end of November.
However, Cricket Australia (CA) had threatened to cancel the series if the Afghanistan women’s team is banned from playing international cricket.