Afghan cricket board chief sacked

Published September 22, 2021

KABUL: The Taliban have sacked the head of Afghanistan’s cricket board, replacing him with a member of the feared Haqqani network, responsible for some of the worst attacks in the country’s history.

Hamid Shinwari posted on his Facebook page on Monday that he has been removed on the orders of senior Haqqani officials, a branch of the Taliban.

“Anas Haqqani visited the cricket board and told me very clearly that my job as the [chief] executive officer was over,” Shinwari wrote on his Facebook page.

Anas is a senior Taliban official and the younger brother of Afghanistan’s new Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Shinwari’s post, seen by AFP, was later not visible, with the page apparently deactivated.

In the Pashto language post, Shinwari said he had asked for a formal order but did not receive it.

“I was elected to the Cricket Board’s executive section after a transparent process, but I did not understand the reason for my dismissal,” Shinwari said.

He was later replaced by Naseebullah Haqqani, also known as Naseeb Khan, a close ally of the Haqqani network, said a source at the cricket board who did not want to be named.

“He holds a master’s degree and has knowledge of cricket as well,” the board said on its Facebook page.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2021

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