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Pakistan Cricket Board cancels NOC for Afghan League

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) cancelled on Friday the no objection certificate (NOC) for the Afghan League, which will be held in July.

The two countries had mutually decided that 10 Pakistani cricketers will participate in the league.

Moreover, the PCB also forbade all the cricketers and officials from participating or attending the Afghan League.

The decision comes after Afghanistan cancelled proposed home and away cricket fixtures with Pakistan after 90 people were killed in a deadly bomb attack which hit the country’s capital on Wednesday.

“The ACB hereby cancel all kinds of cricket matches and initial mutual relationship agreement with the Pakistan Cricket Board,” the Afghan board had said on its Facebook page.

Pakistan were set to play their first Twenty20 match in Kabul later this year in what was seen as an opportunity for the neighbours to ease tensions over border skirmishes and alleged proxy warfare.

The Kabul match, set for July or August, would have been followed by a fixture in Pakistan and a full series at an unspecified date.

On Thursday, PCB had issued a statement rejecting the “baseless allegations leveled by Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) in the wake of the tragic Kabul blast.”

“While our sympathies are with the victims and families affected by the tragedy, we reject the irresponsible statement made by the ACB and hereby announce the cancellation of the proposed series between the two countries,” the statement read.

On May 27, the relations between the two neighbouring countries seemed to improve after Chairman PCB Shahryar Khan had announced two T20 matches and a bilateral cricket series in a joint press conference with Chairman Afghan Cricket Board (ACB) Atif Mashal.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan will play two T20 matches and a bilateral cricket series,” Khan had said, stating that the PCB is on good terms with the ACB.

However, the new move seeks to heighten tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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