Azizullah Fazli is the new chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board. His appointment is the first major cricketing development in the country since the Taliban's takeover of the political reins following the withdrawal of western troops and the collapse of the elected government.
Fazli has already served one term as ACB chairman, from his appointment in September 2018 - following the resignation of Atif Mashal - until July 2019, when he was replaced by Farhan Yusufzai following Afghanistan's bottom-place finish at the 2019 World Cup in England.
Fazli's return to the chairman's post came after the Taliban held a meeting with ACB officials on Sunday. Fazli has been associated with Afghanistan cricket for close to two decades, and was among the early group of players who established the game in the country. He has also served as the ACB's vice-chairman and adviser in the past, and has been involved in running the country's domestic and regional set-up.
Fazli's immediate task will be to see that Afghanistan's upcoming ODI series against Pakistan in Sri Lanka goes ahead in the face of numerous hurdles. With commercial flights from the Kabul airport yet to resume following the Taliban's takeover, the ACB's contingency plan for Afghanistan's players is for them to travel by road to Pakistan and fly out to Sri Lanka from there. The series could also be affected by the 10-day lockdown that has been imposed all across Sri Lanka in the face of rising Covid-19 cases in the country.