Afghanistan allrounder Mirwais Ashraf set to become new ACB chairman

The ACB CEO said Azizullah Fazli's term was always intended to be temporary

Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq
Mirwais Ashraf hits off the front foot, Western Australia XI v Afghanistan, Perth, September 22, 2014

Mirwais Ashraf is set to become acting chairman of the ACB  •  Getty Images

Afghanistan allrounder Mirwais Ashraf has been appointed as acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB). The order was issued earlier this week by Hasan Akhund, patron-in-chief of the ACB and the acting prime minister of the country, and awaits a ratification by the ACB board, which is expected to be just a formality.
The change at the top is the second in four months after Azizullah Fazli was earlier named new ACB chairman replacing Farhan Yusufzai, who left the country after the Taliban took over. No proper reason has been given by the ACB about the latest change, but it has been learnt that Fazli's appointment was always intended to be a temporary one.
ESPNcricinfo understands that the country's government intends to revamp the working structure of the board. "The government is trying to bring in more competent people with expertise in technical aspects of the game - commercial, business and marketing," a former director of the ACB told ESPNcricinfo. "If Afghanistan can produce world-class players with this broken system back home, then imagine what they can do with a competent board."
Mirwais, a 33-year-old right-arm medium-fast bowler who played representative cricket as recently as in October 2020, was among the initial lot of players who helped cricket in Afghanistan rise to the top table. He made his international debut in 2009 and last played in 2016, featuring in 46 ODIs and 25 T20Is.
Fazli had served a ten-month term as ACB chairman following the resignation of Atif Mashal - replaced by Yusufzai after Afghanistan's bottom-place finish at the 2019 ODI World Cup in England. He was among the early group of players who established the game in the country. He had also served as the ACB's vice-chairman and advisor in the past, and has been involved in running the country's domestic and regional set-ups. "But when it comes to the ICC, he was a quiet person who kept his head down," said the former director.
Afghanistan, one of the teams that qualified directly for the Super 12 stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup, were eliminated at the group stage after losing to Pakistan, India, and New Zealand, while winning against Scotland and Namibia.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent