Six Afghanistan players, who are part of CPL 2020, have been allowed to continue playing in the Caribbean by the ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) despite a clash with the Shpageeza T20 league at home. Rashid Khan, the No.1 T20I bowler, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who is just behind him on the T20I charts, are among the six Afghanistan players featuring in the ongoing CPL.
The Shpageeza league is set to begin this Sunday in Kabul while the CPL runs till next Thursday. While Rashid's side Barbados Tridents have crashed out of the tournament, Mujeeb's Jamaica Tallawahs have made the final four. Mohammad Nabi (St Lucia Zouks), Zahir Khan (Zouks), Najibullah Zadran (Zouks) and Naveen-ul-Haq (Guyana Amazon Warriors) will also be in action along with Mujeeb in the playoffs.
Originally the ACB was meant to fly the six players to Kabul on a charter plane. However with most countries in the Caribbean closing their borders, including Trinidad & Tobago, the ACB faced logistical challenges in arranging the charter.
It is understood that out of the six Afghanistan players Rashid, Nabi and Mujeeb will head directly to the UAE to participate in the IPL. With the IPL imposing a mandatory six-day quarantine, the ACB conceded that the three players would not have enough time to join their franchises if they were to participate in the Shapageeza League.
As for the three other Afghanistan players, they will travel to Kabul on September 12 and participate in the Shpageeza League.
Nazeem Jaar Abdulrahimzai, the acting chief executive officer of the ACB, had earlier said the plan was to fly the Afghanistan players in the CPL to Kabul by September 5, a day before the start of the Shpageeza league. The ACB, though, has changed its plan now.
"We understand the importance of the Shpageeza Cricket League to the ACB and the reasons why it had to be scheduled during the CPL after the NOCs were all issued," Pete Russell, CPL's COO said in a media release. "We truly appreciate the Chairman of the ACB allowing these six Afghan players to stay at the Hero CPL until its conclusion. Afghan players have had a huge impact on our competition, both this season and in previous years, and we are very grateful to have them with us until the final on 10 September."