Afghanistan cricket head coach Lance Klusener said that the Taliban are promoting and supporting cricket. Afghanistan team will be participating in the upcoming T20 World Cup and are paired with India, Pakistan, New Zealand and two more teams in the Group 2 of the Super 12 stage.
Afghanistan players who are not part of IPL 2021 are training back in the country with low-level facilities. Klusener, who returned to his home just a few days ago, said that the national team had a good time training.
“We had a very good training camp for about two-and-a-half weeks. The pitches were pretty good for that time of year. The weather is hugely extreme. I was there in mid-winter once when those pitches were knee-deep in snow,” Klusener told news agency AFP.
“Taliban are all for promoting and supporting cricket. By all accounts, they’re very happy for us to continue and have been extremely supportive,” he added.
We will try to get to UAE as soon as we can: Lance Klusener
Afghanistan players couldn’t get their visas on time to tour UAE, where they were supposed to train for a month before playing the T20 World Cup.
“We were planning at least a month’s camp (in the UAE), but we are still waiting for visas, so that’s not going to happen. We will try to get there as soon as we can,” Klusener said.
“I came back from Kabul a couple of days before we shut down. I think it (the Taliban takeover) was always going to happen, but the speed of it took everyone off guard.
“That’s how countries work. There’s nothing we can do as sportspeople except work with it or work around it,” he added.
It’s going to take a little bit of time for everyone to find their feet: Lance Klusener
The tensions in Afghanistan are at their peak since the Taliban took over the rule, and people feel their lives are in danger. Even women’s participation in sports is under threat as the new rulers do not allow them to play, citing Shariah. Klusener acknowledged it is a significant change for the citizens of the country.
“It’s a huge, huge change for the country, for the people. It’s going to take a little bit of time for everyone to find their feet,” Klusener said.
Afghanistan players like Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi are currently playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second phase of IPL 2021 in UAE.