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ACB confirms Test matches against Zimbabwe in March will go ahead

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: January 30, 2021)

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Saturday said the Afghanistan national cricket team is expected to play two Test matches against Zimbabwe in March.

“Test Cricket will resume for Afghanistan as the national team is scheduled to play its fifth and sixth Test matches this March against Zimbabwe,” the ACB said in a statement.
According to the cricket board the series will also be followed by a T20I series.

Last year Zimbabwe Cricket called off a five-match Twenty20I series against Afghanistan due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The ACB also confirmed the decision at the time.

This comes after Afghanistan took an unassailable 2-0 series lead over Ireland thanks to a seven-wicket haul in their second ODI in Abu Dhabi on last week on Sunday before going on to win the third match to secure the Kardan University Cup.

These three matches formed part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.

Last time Afghanistan and Ireland met in an ODI was in May 2019 in Belfast, where the visitors won by 126 runs.

The Afghans were also the team to cut Ireland’s World Cup dreams short three years ago when they knocked them out in the qualifiers back in 2018.


Ahmed Shah Pakteen becomes first on-field Test umpire from Afghanistan

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: March 2, 2021)

The first Test Tuesday between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe was a big day for Ahmed Shah Pakteen, who became the first Afghan to be an on-field umpire in a Test match.

According to ESPNcricinfo, Pakteen made his debut as an international cricket umpire in January 2017. He has previously stood in 15 ODIs and 20 T20Is.

In March 2019, Pakteen became the first Afghan to be a TV umpire during the only Test between Afghanistan and Ireland. Ten months later, in January 2020, he became the first Afghan umpire at an ICC main event when he officiated at the Men’s Under-19 World Cup in South Africa, ESPN reported.

While there is no Afghan representation in the 12-member elite panel of umpires (the highest category), there are four in the international panel: apart from Pakteen, there are Ahmed Shah Durrani, Bismillah Jan Shinwari and Izatullah Safi.

The ongoing Test also marked a debut in Tests for Durrani, who became the second Afghan – after Pakteen – to be a TV umpire in the longest format.

Pakteen’s debut now means that Ireland is the only full-member nation to not field an on-field umpire yet, ESPN reported.

Ireland have played three Tests so far, and the only official from their country has been Mark Hawthorne, who was the TV umpire in their debut Test, against Pakistan in 2018 .

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Rashid Khan to miss first test match against Zimbabwe: ACB

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: February 26, 2021)

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has announced that former captain Rashid Khan is a doubt ahead of their Test series against Zimbabwe, which begins next Tuesday.

According to the ACB, the leg-spinner is battling a finger injury and is presently undergoing treatment.

“National team’s spin-bowler Rashid Khan is likely to miss first Test match between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe due to a finger injury on his bowling arm,” read a statement from ACB.

“Khan was injured during his stint in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) where he played for Lahore Qalandars Franchise. Meanwhile, Rashid Khan is under treatment by the relevant health officials in UAE and the final call on his inclusion in the first Test will be taken after a reassessment of his injury on 28th February.”

The Afghanistan Test squad for the Zimbabwe series features a host of new faces, with Abdul Malik, Munir Ahmad Kakar, Shahidullah Kamal, Bahir Shah Mohboob, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Saleem Safi and Zia Ur Rahman Akbar all without a Test cap to their names.

Sayed Ahmad Shirzad also has no Test experience, but the medium pacer has featured in two ODIs and four T20Is since his debut in early 2019.

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MMA fighter ‘throws match’ after threatened in locker room 

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: February 21, 2021)

Brazilian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Leonardo Barbosa Paes Barreto has claimed that he threw his fight against Afghan fighter Ahmad Wali Hotak on February 11, after being threatened by a gunman in Kabul, the MMA Fighting reported. 

The match was held on February 11 at the Ghazi Stadium in Kabul. 

Hotak managed to knock out Barbosa in the second round of the fight.

But later, Barbosa said on Facebook that he was approached by an armed man in the locker room and threatened. 

The MMA Fighting reported that the Facebook post has been set as private after Barbosa received several messages from “aggressive” Afghan people calling him a “liar.”

Barbosa told MMA Fighting that a man entered his locker room that evening and “started screaming things” in his native language. 

Barbosa couldn’t understand a word he was saying. He did understand the message, however, when this man allegedly showed him he was carrying a gun. 

The Brazilian said he later spotted the man “in the VIP area during the fight, real close to the cage.”

“He kept screaming, extremely aggressive. He got closer to the cage in between rounds and started saying something similar to what he had said in the locker room, only more aggressive. I was winning the fight, I won the first round well, my opponent had a broken nose and needed surgery the next day, and I think I would have won, but I felt unable to do anything in that fight,” Barbosa said.

“And then that happened. I threw the fight,” he admits.

“I came back different for the second round, a series of things were going through my mind. I have a son, I have a family. Him killing me wasn’t my biggest fear because the repercussion would be huge, but I don’t know, people there are a bit complicated. It’s complicated, really. That region is still at war, there are terrorist attacks going on and people are kind of used to that now. A car exploded while I was there and they simply isolated the street, the army put a detour to another street and that’s it,” he stated.

Barbosa stated in a video message that Wali Hotak should not be blamed for what happened in the locker room.

“My opponent Hotak was not to blame for what happened, that fan was crazy,” Barbosa said.

He added: “I know the Afghan people do not agree on this type of attitude and that we will do the rematch and we are going to give the show that the TGFC event deserves and the public deserves,” he noted.

“I wait for the date of rematch,” Barbosa stated.

Hotak, however, denied Barbosa’s claims, calling it a “rumor.” He stated that he won the fight.

The TGFC officials also denied the report. However, they stated the rematch would be held in Dubai. 

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