Mohammad Shahzad Cricket Ban: Afghanistan Wicket-Keeper-Batsman Allowed to Play After Board Accepts Mercy Appeal

Mohammad Shahzad (Photo Credits: Twitter)

Banned Afghanistan cricketer Mohammad Shahzad will make a return to international cricket after his one-year ban, which barred him from playing any form of cricket, was lifted by the country’s apex cricket board. According to a post from the Afghanistan Cricket Board, Shahzad had written an appeal for mercy to the ACB chairman Farhan Yusefzai requesting Yusefzai to lift his ban. Shahzad, Afghanistan’s first-choice wicket-keeper and opening batsman, was suspended from cricket for breaching the code of conduct during the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England. The 32-year-old was then sent home mid-way through the tournament under controversial circumstances. After Being Ruled Out of CWC 2019 Afghanistan Batsman Mohammad Shahzad Cries Foul, ACB CEO Says Wicket-Keeper Injured.

Although the board had initially claimed that the experienced player was replaced mid-way through the World Cup due to a knee injury, reports later surfaced that Shahzad was actually facing charges for disciplinary issues and could be banned from cricket for breaching the code of conduct. Shahzad, however, hit back at the board for replacing him with Ikram Ali Khil and claimed that the board was ensuing a conspiracy against him.

“I still don’t know why I was ruled unfit when I was fit enough to play,” he was quoted as saying in the media. “Some people on the board (ACB) have conspired against me. Only manager, doctor and the captain knew that I was going to be replaced. Even the coach (Phil Simmons) found out much later. It was heart-breaking.”

Mohammad Shahzad’s Cricket Ban Lifted

But the board replied with a strong press release that stated that Shahzad did not adhere to the board’s policy and had travelled outside the country without seeking any sort of permission or release from the cricket board. Details about the year-long ban was, however, not made public.

Things, however, seems to have cooled down in recent times between the hard-hitting cricketer and his country’s national cricket board. “ACB Discipline Committee lifts playing ban on Wicket-Keeper Batman @MShahzad077 after Chairman @Farhan_YusEfzai accepted his (MS) mercy appeal but, his contract ban will continue till the imposed date August 2020,” a post in the official ACB Twitter account read.

Shahzad, who has so far represented the Afghanistan national cricket team in 84 ODI matches and 65 T20Is, will hope to make most the pardon and perform well to stake a claim in the national side for the upcoming 2020 ICC T20I World Cup in Australia. He 2727 ODI runs and 1936 T20I international runs so far and holds the record of hitting the most number of T20I half-centuries by an associate cricketer.
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