Afghanistan cancels all cricket matches with Pakistan after Kabul attack

Team Pakistan were all set to play their first Twenty20 match in Kabul later this year but Afghanistan have cancelled all the cricket fixtures with Pakistan after a deadly bomb attack blamed by the country’s intelligence agency on militants allegedly backed by Islamabad.

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.

But the Afghanistan Cricket Board issued a strongly worded statement late on Wednesday, cancelling the matches in light of a truck bombing in the city’s diplomatic quarter that killed at least 90 people.

No group has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, although the Taliban has denied involvement.

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

“No agreement of friendly matches and mutual relationship agreement is possible with a country where terrorists are housed and provided safe havens.”

India has refused to play a full series since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, while ties with fellow Test team Bangladesh have also soured after Pakistan pulled out of a planned series in July.

 Last year, Afghanistan’s national team shifted its base from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Noida, Delhi, while India’s former batsman Lalchand Rajput replaced Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq as their national team coach.

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