Despite the political tension, Pakistan will not cancel its upcoming T20 series against Afghanistan. PCB Chairman Najam Sethi stated that cricket and politics should be kept separate.
The series, scheduled for March, will now consist of only T20 matches and will be held at a neutral location. Both boards will share the revenue equally.
Cricket Australia announced on January 12th that it would not play against Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s restrictions on education for women and girls.
When asked about PCB’s position on this issue, Sethi stated that it is not their concern and they do not wish to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. He also mentioned that cricket and politics should not be mixed, and the series will proceed with pending approval from the Pakistani government, which he believes will be granted.
The decision to change the series format from ODIs to T20Is was made because both Pakistan and Afghanistan have already secured a place in the 2023 ODI World Cup in India, making the World Cup Super League points less significant.
Sethi explained at a press conference on Monday that “We met with the executive members of Afghanistan Cricket Board, they were requesting an ODI series, but we saw no value in playing it, primarily because the series was meant for Super League points, now it won’t make a difference who wins.
So we agreed to play a series of three T20Is in Sharjah right after the PSL, pending government approval. We will divide the revenue from the series equally, and we will jointly outsource the production.
The bilateral series against Pakistan, originally planned to be held in the UAE by Afghanistan in 2021, had to be delayed due to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, as commercial flights were not operating from Kabul at that time.
The T20I series will now take place between March 20th and 28th. Additionally, Pakistan is scheduled to play another 3-match ODI series against Afghanistan in August 2023.