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Afghanistan seek members’ support ahead of crucial ICC meeting

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(Last Updated On: October 18, 2021)

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has requested the support of other full members of the International Cricket Council ahead of next month’s crucial meeting where the game’s future in the South Asian country is likely to be decided, Reuters reported.

The strife-torn nation’s remarkable rise has been cricket’s biggest fairytale story in recent times but Afghanistan risk isolation following the country’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan [IEA] takeover in August.

According to the report Cricket Australia (CA) has already threatened to scrap next month’s one-off test in Hobart between the men’s teams if the new government in Kabul did not allow women to play the sport.

World governing body ICC had taken a wait-and-watch approach on whether Afghanistan can continue as a full member – allowing it to play test matches – but will discuss the issue at a board meeting after the Twenty20 World Cup in the Middle East.

“ACB is committed to work for the development of cricket in the country and hope the ICC full members will provide their support,” Afghan board chairman Azizullah Fazli told Reuters.

Fazli said last month the ACB was committed to women’s cricket but was awaiting instructions from the IEA government on its future.

The IEA officials have said they will not repeat the harsh rule of the previous IEA government, which banned most girls’ education and forbade women from going out in public without a male guardian.

CA chief executive Nick Hockley has said the Hobart test was likely to be postponed until there was more clarity on the impact of the IEA takeover on sports in Afghanistan.

Fazli said he would meet CA officials on the sidelines of the Twenty20 World Cup and try to convince them to continue with the match as scheduled, Reuters reported.

“We are in touch with the CA management regarding the test match, and soon we will meet CA leadership to discuss it and further the friendship of CA and ACB,” Fazli said in text messages.

The ACB chief added that the uncertainty would not affect the performance of the Afghanistan team under captain Mohammad Nabi, read the report.

“The Afghanistan national cricket team is well prepared to do their best in the T20 World Cup,” he said.

Afghanistan will begin their Super 12 stage campaign with an Oct. 25 clash against a qualifier in Sharjah.

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Former international cricket umpire Koertzen dies in car accident

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(Last Updated On: August 9, 2022)

Rudi Koertzen, former international cricket umpire from South Africa, died on Tuesday in a car accident in the country, ESPNcricInfo reported citing his family.

“He went on a golf tournament with some of his friends, and they were expected to come back on Monday, but it seems they decided to play another round of golf,” his son Rudi Koertzen jr said.

Koertzen, 73, was on the International Cricket Council’s elite panel of umpires for eight years and officiated in 331 matches, a record at the time of his retirement in 2010 that has since been surpassed by Pakistan’s Aleem Dar.

“It is a very big loss, foremost for his family and then for South Africa and cricket,” Dar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricInfo.

“I stood in so many games with him. He was not only very good as an umpire but also an excellent colleague, always very cooperative on field and also always willing to help off the field.

“Because of the way he was, he was also well-respected by players.”

Koertzen died while driving from Cape Town to Despatch in Eastern Cape, where he lived with his family, ESPNcricInfo said.

Koertzen still umpired occasionally in amateur cricket in his hometown of Despatch in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

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ACB names players for five-match T20I series against Ireland

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(Last Updated On: August 1, 2022)

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Monday announced the 16-member squad for the five T20I matches against Ireland scheduled to take place this month.

All matches will take place in Ireland and start on August 9. The tournament will run through until August 17. 

According to the ACB, the team will leave for Ireland on Friday.

Mohammad Nabi will captain the team. The other players are as follows: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicketkeeper), Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Darwish Rasooli, Karim Jannat, Afsar Zazai, Azmatullah Umarzai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, Fazal Haq, Farid Malik, and Naveen ul Haq.

The reserves are Qais Ahmed, Usman Ghani, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Najat Masoud.

Noorul Haq Malikzi, the ACB’s head of the selection committee said: “We have selected a team for Ireland, which I am sure will have great achievements, because our priority is talent, young players, their performance and strength.”

The Afghanistan Cricket Board says that one of the goals of these competitions is to prepare for the Asia Cup and the World Cup, which will start in September and October respectively.

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Ireland announce squad for South Africa, Afghanistan T20Is

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(Last Updated On: July 28, 2022)

Ireland on Wednesday announced their squad for the two T20Is against South Africa as well as the first three games of the five-match series against Afghanistan in August 2022.

The selectors have kept faith in the group that played the three-match T20I series against New Zealand recently by retaining the same 14-member squad for the upcoming series against South Africa (two matches) and Afghanistan (three of the five matches).

Despite being whitewashed 3-0 at home by New Zealand, there were several positives for Ireland, including the lower-order batting form of Mark Adair and Curtis Campher. Paul Stirling gave yet another glimpse of his white-ball exploits with a 29-ball 40 in the final T20I, the ICC reported.

Amongst the bowlers, Josh Little finished as the highest wicket-taker in the series with eight wickets in three games including a four-for in the second T20I. 

Squad: Andrew Balbirnie (Captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young

Speaking on the squad selection, Chair of National Men’s Selectors Andrew White said: “We are now getting down to the final stages of our preparations as we build towards the Men’s T20 World Cup in October.

“The squad has faced two high-quality opponents in recent weeks, in India and New Zealand, and have stern tests ahead against South Africa and Afghanistan.

“We believe, while the results have not gone our way, the brand of cricket that [head coach] Heinrich Malan is instilling in the squad is showing positive signs and the players are beginning to equip themselves well as they build towards the World Cup in Australia.

“We have, however, sought to give ourselves a level of selection flexibility later in the Afghan series, and will announce a squad for the final two T20Is of that series in due course.”

The upcoming series against South Africa and Afghanistan will be the dress rehearsal for Ireland going into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year. After failing to make it to the Super 12 last year in Oman and UAE, Ireland will be eager to make a mark later this year in Australia.

This year, they are pitted against Scotland, West Indies and Zimbabwe in Group B in the First Round that begins on 16 October.

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