A viral social media post is claiming that the captain of Afghanistan's T20 team, Mohammad Nabi, spent his own money to sponsor the team for the ongoing 2021 T20 World Cup because the Taliban refused to support the team.
The Taliban recently took over the country, following which there have been speculations about the future of cricket in the country.
However, we didn't find any news report stating that Nabi was sponsoring the team for the World Cup. On the contrary, we found a tweet by the official Twitter handle of Afghanistan Cricket Board that stated that Sediki Grup were going to be their sponsors for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
The claim read, "Did you Know? Taliban refused to sponsor the Afghan Cricket team to #ICC #T20WorldCup2021, Mohammad Nabi came forward & spent his own money to get the team to the World Cup. He is sponsoring the Afghan Team with his own money. If this isn’t Love with country, then what is?"
The text is shared with a photograph of Nabi where he can be seen crying.
WHAT WE FOUND
We looked for news reports talking about Nabi sponsoring the team from his own pocket and couldn't find any news report on it.
We then checked for sponsors of Afghanistan cricket team and found a tweet from the official Twitter account of the Afghanistan Cricket Board.
In the tweet, posted on 14 October, the ACB had announced that Sediki Grup was going to sponsor the Afghan national team for the 2021 T20 World Cup.
In June, the ACB had called for tenders from "interested national and international companies, business entities" to sponsor the T20 World Cup.
We found photographs of the team in their jerseys and found the Seiki Grup's logo on it.
We also didn't find any news report that stated that the Taliban had refused to sponsor or support the team.
Members of the Taliban have congratulated the team for their wins in the ongoing tournament. Following their win against Scotland, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen tweeted:
While the Taliban is not opposed to the men's team playing cricket, there have been reports stating that women athletes in some sports went into hiding or fled the country after the Taliban took over. It is important to note that during its previous regime, the outfit had banned women's participation in sports.
The newly appointed Chairman of ACB, Azizullah Fazli, told news organisation Al Jazeera that the Taliban government had not imposed an "official ban" on women's sports, especially cricket.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said that it will review the situation in Afghanistan in a meeting and decide on the team's member status as all member nations are required to have a women's team.
Therefore, the claim that Nabi had to pay for the team to compete in the 2021 T20 World Cup is false.