Afghanistan Cancels All Games Against Pakistan After Kabul Attack

“ACB hereby cancels all kinds of cricket matches and agreements with Pakistan Cricket Board,” said the Afghan board.

2 min read
File photo of Rashid Khan. (Photo: AP)

Afghanistan on Thursday cancelled proposed home and away cricket fixtures with Pakistan after a deadly bomb attack that killed 80 people in Kabul.

Pakistan was blamed by the country's intelligence agency on militants allegedly backed by Islamabad.

Pakistan and Afghanistan were set to play their first Twenty20 match in Kabul later this year, followed by a fixture in Pakistan and a full series at an unspecified date.

But the Afghanistan Cricket Board issued a strongly worded statement late on Wednesday, cancelling the matches in light of a truck bombing in the city's diplomatic quarter that killed at least 90 people.

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/<a href="">Afghanistan Cricket Board</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Afghanistan Cricket Board)

No group has claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack, although the Taliban has denied involvement.

“The ACB hereby cancels all kinds of cricket matches and agreements with the Pakistan Cricket Board,” the Afghan board said on its Facebook page. “No agreement of friendly matches is possible between both parties”.

Afghanistan's intelligence agency has blamed the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network for the attack, which has been linked to Pakistan's military in the past.

India has refused to play a full series since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, while ties with fellow Test team Bangladesh have also soured after Pakistan pulled out of a planned series in July.

Pakistani officials said they were unhappy that Bangladesh was not willing to send their team to Pakistan.

Only minnows Zimbabwe have been willing to tour Pakistan since a 2009 militant attack on the visiting Sri Lanka team.


Cricketing relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan were not always so frosty.

Afghans learned to play cricket in refugee camps in Pakistan after they were forced to leave their homes in the wake of the Soviet invasion in 1979.

The sport struggled to get a foothold in Afghanistan under the hardline Taliban, but has become hugely popular since the Islamist regime was toppled in a US-led invasion in 2001.

While Pakistan has supported the Afghan team by supplying equipment and arranging fixtures with the fledgling side, India too has lent its support.

Last year, Afghanistan's national team shifted its base from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Noida, Delhi, while India's former batsman Lalchand Rajput replaced Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq as their national team coach.

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