Karim Khan Sadeq, the opener batsman and former vice-captain of the Afghan cricket team, accused ACB Executive Director Aminzai of preferential treatment of the players. He claimed his brother and teammate, Hasti Gul, has not been included for ICC Intercontinental Cup. Speaking to reporters in Kabul, Sadiq said the fast bowler was axed without any solid reason.
Karim Sadiq lashed out at Kabir Khan too. He accused the coach, who is a Pakistani national, for anti-Afghanistan stance. “I have concrete evidence of Kabir Khan taking decisions against Afghanistan in international competitions," Pajhwok Afghan News, a local news agency, quoted him saying.The 25-year-old said he will not return to the team unless the board is reformed.
Afghanistan will badly miss Sadiq who is not only an impressive opening batsman but an experience wicketkeeper. He has opened batting and kept wickets for Afghanistan right from the beginning of the establishment of Afghan national team which formally started playing cricket matches in 2001.
The young Afghan team performance has been remarkably impressive during past three years and the recent World Cup Qualifiers, which earned them One Day Internationals (ODI) status for four years, qualified for the on-going ICC Intercontinental Cup and won funding from the International Cricket Council.
In ICC Intercontinental Cup, they will be playing four-day matches which are more challenging then the ODI matches they have been playing. Four-day format needs more patience which, cricket critics believe, young Afghan team is lacking. On the other hand, Afghanistan is facing experience teams that have senior players who have played international cricket for years. And the absence of Sadiq will further add to coach Kabir Khan’s worries.
The national squad left today for Zimbabwe, where it will play a four-day match against Zimbabwe XI on August 16. The team will then head to Europe where they meet Netherlands on for a four-day match and two ODIs on August 24, August 30 and September 1.