Former Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan has reacted to Australia Test captain Tim Paine's statement to 'boycott Afghanistan' in cricket. He urged Paine to refrain from giving such statements and asked for the support of all nations and their national cricket teams.
Asghar said Paine is making such comments without knowing the situation in Afghanistan. "In any case, you are mistreating Afghan Cricket and all the gains we have obtained with hardship in the past decade. (Sports should be separated from politics)," he said.
Paine had recently said he believes the teams should take a strong stand against the Afghanistan cricket team after the Taliban reportedly banned women's participation in sports.
The Aussie suggested that the teams could pull out of the upcoming T20 World Cup or boycott playing Afghanistan. "I think so. I think it will be something discussed team-by-team," he said on SEN sports radio when asked if nations would take a stand at the tournament.
Paine further said, "To see them pull of the tournament or have countries boycott it will literally, I think, be something that teams will discuss on the eve of that World Cup. We've heard literally no comment from the ICC so it will be interesting to see where that lands.
"If teams are pulling out of playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores, how a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very hard."
Afghanistan appointed Rashid Khan was named the captain for the 2021 T20 World Cup, but the leg-spinner stepped down from the role, stating he was not consulted before picking the 15-member squad.