On December 25, 2023, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced the postponement of the 2024 annual central contracts for three national players: Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazal Haq Farooqi, and Naveen Ul Haq Mureed.
The Board has also decided not to issue No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for these players for the next two years, a move seen as a response to their request to be released from their contracts.
The central issue leading to this decision was the players’ preference for participating in commercial leagues, which was seen as prioritizing personal interests over the national duty of representing Afghanistan in cricket.
In response to the situation, the ACB formed a dedicated committee tasked with investigating the players’ decisions and developing recommendations that align with the board’s interests.
The committee revealed that the players had formally communicated their desire to be released from the annual central contract starting January 1, 2024, and had sought approval for their participation in national cricket events.
One of the key recommendations from the committee was to not award central contracts to these three players for one year starting from January 1, 2024, essentially making them ineligible for the central contract.
Additionally, the committee advised delaying the granting of No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for two years and revoking all current NOCs immediately.
As of now, the players have not issued any comments or reactions regarding this matter to ABC.
The committee emphasized the need for transparent communication of ACB’s stance to the wider cricketing community, including the ICC, ACC, Member Countries/Cricket Boards, and the Afghanistan public.
This decision underscores the Afghanistan Cricket Board’s commitment to maintaining discipline and adherence to national priorities.
The ACB’s stance is a reflection of its core values and principles, emphasizing the importance of national duty and the collective interest of the country’s cricket aspirations.
By taking these measures, the ACB aims to set a precedent for the importance of commitment to national contracts and the consequences of prioritizing personal gains over national representation.
The unfolding situation marks a significant moment in Afghanistan’s cricket governance, as it strives to balance individual player rights and national cricketing responsibilities.