The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has taken a strong stance against three of its players, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, and Naveen Ul Haq, for prioritizing their personal interests over playing for Afghanistan. The board has sanctioned the trio by delaying their 2024 annual central contracts and denying them no-objection certificates (NOCs) for franchise leagues for the next two years. This decision also includes the revocation of any existing NOCs held by the players.
The ACB’s action comes in response to the players’ request to be released from their annual central contracts starting January 1, 2024, and their desire to participate in franchise tournaments. According to the board’s statement, this move by the players was seen as prioritizing their individual aspirations over their national duty, which is considered a crucial responsibility.
The board formed a committee to thoroughly investigate the matter and develop appropriate recommendations aligned with the ACB’s interests. The decision to sanction the players reflects the board’s commitment to upholding national priorities and emphasizes the need for players to adhere to the ACB’s principles, putting the country’s interests above their personal ones.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who was recently acquired by Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL auction for USD 241,000, is currently participating in the Big Bash League (BBL) with the Melbourne Renegades. Naveen Ul Haq, a player for Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL, and Fazalhaq Farooqi, retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad, recently competed in the Abu Dhabi T10 competition. All three players were part of Afghanistan’s team during their sixth-place finish in the ODI World Cup.
The ACB’s decision sends a clear message about the importance of discipline and commitment to national duties. It serves as a reminder to players that they are expected to prioritize representing their country and align with the values and principles set forth by the board.
In response to the sanctions, Mujeeb, Naveen, and Farooqi expressed their disappointment but remained committed to working with the ACB to resolve the situation. Mujeeb stated, “I am deeply disappointed by the ACB’s decision. Representing Afghanistan is a matter of great pride for me, and I have always given my best for the team.” Naveen added, “I understand the board’s concerns, and I am willing to engage in constructive discussions to find a resolution.” Farooqi echoed similar sentiments, saying, “I remain committed to Afghanistan cricket and hope to resolve this matter with the board.”
The ACB’s firm stance reflects its determination to maintain discipline and ensure that players prioritize their national commitments. While the players’ future participation in franchise leagues remains uncertain, the board’s decision underscores the significance of national duty in shaping the conduct of Afghan cricketers.