Afghanistan's ODI series against Pakistan postponed until 2022

Series was set to be held in Sri Lanka before country went into 10-day lockdown

Afghan national cricket team players attend a training session at the Kabul International Cricket Ground in Kabul on August 21, 2021, ahead of their one-day series against Pakistan, scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka in two weeks.  (Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI  /  AFP)
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Afghanistan's ODI series against Pakistan has been postponed after a surge in Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka, where the matches were due to be staged.

Afghanistan were scheduled to play a three-match ODI series against their neighbours in the beginning of September and the matches were set to be held in Hambantota, Sri Lanka.

However, the sudden change in leadership in Afghanistan altered plans dramatically. Media reports suggested the Afghan board was looking to send their players to Pakistan by road first and then fly them out to Colombo after travelling to another country.

However, the ground situation in Sri Lanka also changed. Last week, Sri Lanka announced a 10-day lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus after a massive surge in infections and deaths. That proved a huge stumbling block for Afghanistan's travel plans.

The Pakistan Cricket Board came out with statement, saying the series has been postponed keeping in mind the players' mental health and the logistical problems.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board and Afghanistan Cricket Board have mutually agreed to postpone next month’s three-ODI series, which was scheduled in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. The two boards have agreed that the series, which was planned from September 1-8, will be rescheduled for 2022," the PCB statement said.

"The ACB had contacted the PCB on Monday evening, requesting to postpone the series for 2022 citing disruption of flight operations in Kabul, increased Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka, mental health of their players and non-availability of broadcast equipment."

Zakir Khan, PCB director, added: “We have worked very closely with the Afghanistan Cricket Board to make this series happen and were keen to play them in the inaugural bilateral series, but we understand their challenges and have, therefore, agreed to reschedule the series for 2022."

Updated: August 24, 2021, 11:06 AM