In a move that could have serious ramifications not just for Afghanistan Cricket but franchises all around the world, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) have sanctioned the trio of Mujeeb ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq and Fazalhaq Farooqi, delaying handing out a national contract to them while also revoking their No Objection Certificate (NOC) to participate in franchise leagues across the world.
In a release sent out on Monday (December 25), the ACB revealed that they’d decided to take action against the trio after the players in question had expressed their desire to release themselves from the annual central contract.
The board asserted that by asking to be released from central contract, the three aforementioned players ‘prioritized personal interests over playing for Afghanistan’. Due to this, the board decided to form a dedicated committee to thoroughly investigate the matter and take action against the said players.
The committee presented the following recommendations to the ACB’s top management:
> Not Awarding Central Contracts: Starting from January 1, 2024, the three players shall not be eligible for the central contract for one year. In this case, ACB will consider and decide their participation in events when needed.
>Delay Granting No Objection Certificates (NOCs): Consideration of these players as non-eligible to obtain No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for two years. All current NOCs shall be revoked immediately.
>Transparently communicate ACB’s stance to the cricketing community, including the ICC, the ACC, Member Countries/Cricket Boards, and the Afghanistan Public.
The ACB, in its statement, added, “The decision by the Afghanistan Cricket Board is made with a focus on national priorities, aligned with the ACB's core values and principles. It highlights the necessity for every player to maintain the ACB's principles and prioritize the country's interests above their personal ones.”
Revoking the trio’s NOC with immediate effect, and not providing them NOC to participate in franchise leagues for the next 2 years, effectively bans Mujeeb, Naveen and Farooqi from playing any league cricket.
This means trouble also for IPL franchises Kolkata Knight Riders, Lucknow Super Giants and Sunrisers Hyderabad, which are home to Mujeeb, Naveen and Farooqi respectively.
This could also have a detrimental effect on the trio’s hopes of participating in the T20 World Cup later this year, although it has to be noted that they are still eligible for national selection at this point in time.