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Afghanistan selector steps down citing 'interruption' from 'non-cricketers' in the board

Asadullah Khan claims squad for ODI series against Pakistan was selected without his knowledge

Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq
Hashmatullah Shahidi bats in the nets, Southampton, June 24, 2019

Hashmatullah Shahidi will lead Afghanistan in their first bilateral ODI series against Pakistan  •  ICC via Getty

Asadullah Khan has resigned from his position as the head in the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) selection committee, claiming that the squad for the upcoming "home" ODI series against Pakistan, to be played in Sri Lanka, was finalised without his nod. Khan, in letters written to the board - seen by ESPNcricinfo - cited "too much interruption" and interference from "non-cricketers" in the board, who have "no knowledge about the players and selection" as the main reasons for his decision to step down.
Khan sent across his resignation letter (accepted on July 27) to ACB chairman Farhan Yusefzai on July 24, the day after the squad of 17 for the historic series - it's the first bilateral ODI series between the two sides - was named, with Hashmatullah Shahidi as the captain and five uncapped players in the mix: Sediqullah Atal, Shahidullah Kamal, Abdul Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Noor Ahmad.
In his letter to Yusefzai, Khan mentioned six primary reasons for his step.
  • Not being given the "selection committee members" he has been asking for since his appointment
  • "Too much interruption" in his work as the chief selector
  • The involvement of "non-cricketers" who have "no knowledge of players and selection"
  • Not being allowed to "talk and have my says" in selection matters
  • Not being granted an appointment with the chairman, Yusefzai, despite asking for one for the past three months
  • Being left in the dark about the final squad for the Pakistan ODIs
  • Khan was appointed as the chief selector in March this year after a lengthy process where a number of candidates were interviewed. He made the cut because of his experience in the Afghanistan domestic set-up - a former cricketer, he has worked extensively as a coach and a video analyst. He had also served as the ACB's acting chief executive for a brief period in 2019.
    The ACB had revamped the selection plan earlier this year, doing away with the conventional selection committee and forming instead a selection department with Khan at its helm. He was to be assisted by advisors and data analysts, but it is learnt that no-one was recruited, as he has mentioned in the letter.

    Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent