After much rifts, Pakistan managed a series of T20 matches with Afghanistan as a token of friendship between the countries. The talks of the series between the boards is barely a week old and the pace was seemingly fine. The matches were expected to schedule in July and August. The venues were worked out to be at Kabul and Lahore. However, after such advancements, the Kabul blast came out as a massive outburst in the stride. It is the repercussion of the unfortunate incident that made ACB to tweet cancelation of the upcoming series.
In a blunt Tweet on its official page, ACB confirmed the suspension. The Tweet read out, “@ACBofficials cancells friendly matches including initially agreed terms of mutual cricketing relationship with @TheRealPCB.” The board did not put up any official reason, but the hashtag of “KabulBlast” accompanying the Tweet made it all clear.
Pakistan has strained relation with Afghanistan. The agreement between the cricket boards was an attempt to revive the woeful situation. The agreement was more than just playing cricket. It was series of joint ventures between the nations in the sport. There were agreements on training venues and conditioning camps for players from both sides. The boards also agreed on tours between the junior and senior teams on bilateral level.
Back in 2013, similar advances were made between the boards, but eventually, Afghanistan sided with India. Since then Afghanistan players are being trained in Greater Noida, near New Delhi. In fact, the present international relations between the governments of these nations are emerging as a strong factor in cricket as well. Atif Mashal, Chairman of ACB said, relation with Pakistan does not mean a break up with India. He said the board is “always thinking of balancing the relations between Pakistan and India.” Mashal termed India as a “strategic partner” and “a friend.”
Tension at borders and across it has been a heavy roadblock to Pakistan cricket. In a recent tussle, the government of India posed a clear stance to avoid playing with Pakistan. The sports minister said bilateral matches between India and Pakistan is not possible until the nation stops cross border terrorism. The recent downside in the Afghanistan agreement was the result of a heinous terrorist attack near the Indian embassy in Kabul. 70 people lost their lives in the bomb blast.
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