Afghanistan June 5, 2010

Afghanistan player strike averted for now

 


The strike had threatened to boycott the tour of Netherlands in July © Getty Images
 

A crisis meeting between the Afghanistan Cricket Federation and national team players has agreed to establish a four-member group of "impartial" persons to find and present a solution to several of the players’ grievances in "three or four days time" to the ACF chairman, Hazrat Omer Zakhailwal.

The agreement has averted a strike, for now at least, by the majority of the leading Afghanistan national players who had threatened to boycott the ICC World Cricket League Division One tournament in Netherlands from July 1-10, unless several conditions were met.

These had included the replacement of either the CEO, Dr Aimal Shenwari or Chief Selector, Dr Hamid Shenwari with Raees Ahmadzai, a long term member of the national team who recently retired from Twenty 20 and multi-day cricket.

The main cause of disenchantment was a belief within the team the ACF's CEO, Dr Aimal Shenwari and the Chief Selector, Dr Hamid Shenwari’s backgrounds did not provide them with sufficient knowledge about the game to carry out their positions.

Discontent within the team began festering shortly after the World Twenty20 last month. Allrounder Ahmadzai announced his retirement from Twenty20 and multi-day cricket for the national team, allegedly on the understanding a position within the ACF related to team development would be created for him. This did not eventuate and then Ahmadzai was omitted from the WCL Division One squad, although he had declared his availability for the 50-over squad.

On top of Ahmadzai's omission from the Division One squad was the demotion of Mohammad Nabi, widely regarded as the team's best player, from the vice-captaincy role in favour of the less experienced Mirwais Ashraf. Nabi's demotion is believed to have resulted partly from a disagreement Nabi and Ahmadzai had with ACFofficials and partly from Ashraf's performance in the match against South Africa when he was the team's top scorer with 23 from 22 balls.

The captain, Nowroz Mangal, had told Cricinfo prior to the meeting he was strongly in favour of strike action if Dr. Aimal Shenwari and Dr. Hamid Shenwari retained their posts.

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