The Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to commence from September 19 this year. With about a month remaining for the onset of the world’s most popular T20 tournament, questions are being asked about the availability of Afghan cricketers such as Mohammed Nabi and Rashid Khan for the remaining matches of IPL 2021.
While speaking about the matter to ANI, Sunrisers Hyderabad CEO K Shanmugam confirmed that both the cricketers will be available for the UAE leg of the 14th edition of the tournament. “We haven’t spoken on what is happening at present, but they are available for the tournament…We are leaving at the end of the month, August 31,” he stated. Reportedly, flight operations had been affected at the Karzai International airport (HKI) amidst the ongoing crisis.
Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi are currently staying in the United Kingdom and playing for the ‘Trent Rockets’ and ‘London Spirits’ respectively.
Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen had revealed how Rashid Khan and his family are worried about the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. He said, “There’s a lot of things that are happening at home. We had a long chat here on the boundary talking about it and he’s worried. He can’t get his family out of Afghanistan and there’s a lot of things happening for him. For him to turn up and put on a performance like this under the pressure that he is currently under… for him to be able to forget that stuff and navigate his story and continue the momentum that he has – I think that’s probably one of the most heart-warming stories of this Hundred so far”
IPL to commence from September 19 in UAE
The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was postponed in May amidst the outbreak of the 2nd wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. It is set to resume again from September 19 onwards with the opening match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. A total of 31 matches will be played in the remaining leg of the tournament. The matches will be held in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai.
Taliban takes over Kabul in Afghanistan
After a month-long offensive against the Afghan army, terrorists associated with the Islamist outfit Taliban finally reached the gates of Kabul on Sunday (August 15). In a statement, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid stated, “Declaration of the Islamic Emirate not to fight in Kabul Praise be to God that with the help of God Almighty and the broad support of our people, all parts of the country have come under the control of the Islamic Emirate. However, since the capital Kabul is a large and densely populated city, the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate do not intend to enter the city by force or war, but rather to enter Kabul peacefully.”
He further added, “Negotiations are underway to ensure that the transition process is completed safely and securely, without compromising the lives, property, and honour of anyone, and without compromising the lives of Kabulis. The Islamic Emirate instructs all its forces to stand at the gates of Kabul, not to try to enter the city. Also, until the completion of the transition process, the security of Kabul city is referred to the other side, which must be maintained.” President Ashraf Ghani had relinquished his position and has reportedly fled the country.
It is being speculated that Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will become the new President of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime, while US-based Ali Ahmad Jalali will head an interim government for the time being before the Taliban forms a full-fledged government.