Afghanistan cricket player Usman Ghani takes break, cites corrupt leadership of ACB

Afghanistan’s national cricket player, Usman Ghani, recently announced that he would be taking a break from cricket, citing the corrupt leadership of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB).

The 26-year-old opening batsman made the announcement in a series of tweets on Monday, saying that he would not return to the national team unless the leadership was replaced.

“After careful consideration, I have decided to take a break from Afghanistan cricket,” Ghani said.

“The corrupt leadership in the cricket board has forced me to step back. I will continue to work hard and eagerly await the right management and selection committee to be put in place.”

Ghani, who is known as the second-youngest cricketer to hit an ODI century, said that he would “proudly return” to play for the squad once new management was in place.

He also criticized the ACB chairman, Mirwais Ashraf, for being unavailable to meet with him on multiple occasions.

“Despite multiple visits, I was unable to meet the chairman,” Ghani said. “He remained unavailable.”

Afghanistan’s cricket has been one of the country’s sporting success stories of over the past decade. But the team has faced controversy over its make-up and direction. In January, Australia cancelled a match with the team in protest against the Taliban.

Ghani was recently excluded from the national team for the bilateral series against Bangladesh. He responded by saying that the chief selector had “no satisfactory response” for his exclusion from all formats.

To date, Ghani has played in 17 ODIs and 35 T20I matches for Afghanistan. His last appearance for the national team was in the T20I series against Pakistan on March 27, 2023, in Sharjah.