Taliban Fire Afghan Cricket Board CEO, Replace Him With Haqqani Network Member

The Taliban rulers have fired Hamid Shinwari, the chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), and replaced him with Naseeb Khan, a close ally of the Haqqani network, in the second major change in the game's top governing body since the group captured power last month.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced the news on their social media platforms.

"Naseeb Khan, has been introduced as the new CEO of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), by board's Chairman Mr @AzizullahFazli. He hold master's degree and has knowledge of cricket as well," Afghanistan Cricket Board tweeted.

Shinwari confirmed in a text message to Reuters news agency that he had been fired from his post.

Why Was Hamid Shinwari Sacked by the Taliban?

He also posted on his official Facebook page as he revealed that he had been fired by Anas Haqqani, the younger brother of the Taliban's new Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani.

"Anas Haqqani visited the cricket board and told me very clearly that my job as the (chief) executive officer was over," Shinwari wrote on his Facebook page, according to AFP.

Shinwari's post, seen by AFP, was later not visible, with the page apparently deactivated.

In the Pashto language post, Shinwari said he had asked for a formal order but did not receive it.

"I was elected to the Cricket Board's executive section after a transparent process, but I did not understand the reason for my dismissal," Shinwari said.

Naseeb Khan
Naseeb Khan is the new chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board Twitter

According to The Associated Press, it is still not clear if the new Afghanistan Cricket Board chief is a relative of Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is sought by the FBI for questioning in connection with several high-profile attacks on Kabul during the Taliban's 20-year war with successive US-backed governments.

The ACB last month named Azizullah Fazli as its chairman in what was the board's first major appointment since the Taliban takeover. Fazli had previously served as the chairman between 2018 and 2019, reported Al Jazeera.

Cricket Australia to Cancel Australia vs. Afghanistan test

Soon after forming an interim government, the Taliban banned women from playing cricket or any others sports, casting doubts over Afghanistan men's team Test status. Subsequently, the Australian cricket board said it would scrap a planned test match against the Afghanistan men's team if the Taliban did not allow women to play the sport.

Australia vs Afghanistan's one-off Test match was scheduled to be played at Hobart's Blundstone Arena from November 27.

Shinwari had asked Cricket Australia to reconsider its decision saying such a move will only isolate the strife-torn country. He also urged other national teams not to shun the country over its new ruler's suggestion that it might ban women from the sport.