Tue, 31 Jan 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 23 (ANI): Pakistan will not be pulling out of its scheduled upcoming series against Afghanistan, but it will consist of three T20Is instead of an number of ODIs as was planned earlier.

The cricket boards of both countries will share the revenue on 50-50 basis.

The series will be played at an offshore venue.

The development comes after Cricket Australia announced earlier in January the senior national side's withdrawal from the white-ball series against Afghanistan due to the Taliban's "further restrictions on women's and girls' education" in Afghanistan.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi said on Monday the internal issues of Afghanistan are none of Pakistan's business and he does not want to mix cricket and politics.

"That is not our business and we do not like to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. My personal stance is that politics and cricket should not be mixed up, so following that principle the series is subject to pending approvals from the Pakistan government and I think approvals will be granted," said Sethi as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.

The switch from ODIs to T20Is was made as both sides have qualified for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in India in October, this year, and the World Cup Super League points do not hold much relevance.

"I met with the executive members of Afghanistan Cricket Board and they were asking us to play an (ODI) series but we did not find any attraction playing the series. It is mainly because the series was meant for the [Super League] points, and now no matter who wins it would not make a difference. So we agreed to play a series of three T20Is in Sharjah just after the PSL subject to government approval. We will share 50 per cent of the revenue from the series equally. And we will jointly outsource the production," said Sethi.

The bilateral series was meant to be hosted by Afghanistan in UAE back in 2021, but the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan led to the postponement of the series as no commercial flights were taking off from Kabul at the time.

The series will be played between March 20 and March 28.

Pakistan is also scheduled to play a three-match ODI series against Afghanistan in August 2023. (ANI)

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