Afghanistan likely to face 2021 T20 World Cup expulsion if they play under Taliban flag

The ICC might prohibit Afghanistan’s cricket team from competing in the T20 World Cup 2021 if it competes under the Taliban flag. 

 Cricket in Afghanistan is still in shambles. The Taliban’s control of the country’s political spectrum has altered the country’s vision.

Though the men’s cricket team of the country has been allowed to resume their cricketing duties, the team’s identity remains a mystery.

With the T20 World Cup 2021 less than a month away, it’s unclear whether Afghanistan’s men’s squad will be permitted to compete under the Afghan flag.

The ramifications of forcing the team to participate under the Taliban flag could be severe. 

ICC Laws Prohibit Government Involvement: 

According to the ICC’s constitution, all member nations must follow. And The boards must “conduct its business autonomously and ensure that there is no government”.

Article 2.4 of the Constitution states that each member must: “manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government (or other public or quasi-public body) interference in its governance, regulation and (or) administration of Cricket in its Cricket Playing Country (including in operational matters, the selection and management of teams, and the appointment of coaches or support personnel).” 

Even though the ICC rule expressly stipulates that no government influence in the operations of a national cricket board is permitted, the Taliban have already made two key appointments in the previous month.

The Taliban’s perspective on Afghanistan’s participation in the T20 World Cup in 2021 is unknown.

The selection of Naseeb Zadran Khan in place of Hamid Shinwari, on the other hand, indicates the Taliban’s desire to gain worldwide attention. 

T20 World Cup: 

All of the participating nations in the T20 World Cup should submit the flags that they will be flying. Usually, this technique isn’t a point of contention, but it is in Afghanistan.

If Afghanistan raised the Taliban’s flag for the master event, the International Cricket Council would be under stress to clarify its stance over the situation in the Asian country.

According to Telegraph UK, the International Cricket Council (ICC) may not only prevent Afghanistan from competing in the T20 World Cup. Still, it may also expel them as a member nation. 

Afghanistan has qualified directly for the T20 World Cup finals in 2021 and is in Group 2 with India, Pakistan, and New Zealand.

Two more teams from the qualifications, which start on October 17, will join them. 

The Afghans are also under fire for their women’s national team’s current state. Full members of the ICC are required to have a national women’s squad.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board planned to debut a women’s team this year, but the Taliban’s entrance thwarted those plans.

The ICC expressed concern over women’s cricket in Afghanistan earlier this month. Australia has threatened to cancel a historic Test against Afghanistan’s men’s squad if the country does not encourage women’s cricket in the same way that other members do.

As a full member of the ICC, Afghanistan currently receives $5 million per year in financing.

The apex board would be required to suspend Afghanistan’s membership if 12 of the 17 board members agreed to do so due to the current condition of things.

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