Afghanistan board suspends Shahzad for one year

Updated August 19, 2019

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KABUL: Afghanistan wicket-keeper/batsman Mohammad Shahzad cannot play ‘any form of cricket’ for a year, according to his country’s cricket authorities.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), which had earlier suspended Shahzad indefinitely for breaching the board’s code of conduct, has fixed the term of his suspension, which will now last one year.

Shahzad’s suspension stems from his breach of a policy that requires players to seek the board’s permission before travelling out of the country. Shahzad is based in the Pakistan city of Peshawar, and was recently seen practising there.

“The ACB has well-equipped training and practice facilities within the country and Afghan players do not require to travel abroad for such purposes,” the ACB said in a statement on Sunday.

Last year, the ACB had fined Shahzad and asked him to relocate to Afghanistan permanently or risk having his contract terminated.

Shahzad spent his early years in a refugee camp in Peshawar, but his parents are originally from Nangarhar in Afghanistan. Like many of his Afghanistan team-mates, Shahzad grew up near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; he also got married in Peshawar.

A significant number of Afghans, once refugees, now reside in Pakistan, mainly in Peshawar, registered in the country as temporary residents.

Shahzad was unceremoniously sent home early from the recent World Cup in England and Wales, ostensibly with a knee injury, but he insisted at the time that he was fit and claimed he had been unfairly left out.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2019