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Mohammad Shahzad’s contract suspended indefinitely by ACB

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Afghanistan’s all-time leading run-scorer, Mohammad Shahzad, has had his contract suspended for an “indefinite period” by his national side’s governing board for another breach of their Code of Conduct.

News of the latest blot on his disciplinary record was delivered by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Saturday August 8.

“As per ACB’s policies, any player travelling out of the country is required to seek the permission of ACB. Shahzad has not adhered to this, repetitively,” a statement said.

“ACB has well-equipped training and practice facilities within the country and Afghan players do not require to travel abroad for such purposes.”

Shahzad has six ODI centuries to his name

There is previous between the ACB and Shahzad, with the wicketkeeper sent home in controversial circumstances from the World Cup in June. It was claimed that injury had forced his withdrawal, but the 32-year old responded by claiming he was fully fit, and images of him reacting emotionally circulated online.

“I have no problem or injury & fully fit but (the ACB) pulled me out of the squad by force without any consultation,” he said at the time. “I don’t see myself playing anymore. It’s a dream to play the World Cup. I was removed from the 2015 World Cup, and now this one as well. I am going to consult with friends and family. My heart isn’t in cricket anymore.

“If I was unfit then how could I play the first two matches? The physio told me that I will be alright if I take a bit of rest, and suddenly I was ruled out of the tournament. I have done so much for Afghanistan cricket and this is what happened to me.”

The ACB’s chief executive repsonded at the time by saying ,”We can’t carry unfit players. We understand Shahzad was not fully fit when he still went on to play two games and this is not acceptable anymore.”

The latest statement referenced further indiscretions, and stated that Shahzad had failed to turn up to appointments to discuss his latest breach.

“Mohammad Shahzad has also breached the ACB Code of Conduct previously and was recently called for questioning by the ACB Discipline Committee in relation to a disciplinary matter during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019,” the statement said.

“Mohammad Shahzad did not attend meetings scheduled with the Discipline Committee on 20th and 25th of the last month. The Discipline Committee will meet after Eid-ul Adha holidays to assess the breaches by Mohammad Shahzad and make a decision to be publicised soon.”

Shahzad was also banned for a doping violation in 2017, admitting to taking a weight-loss supplement. Afghanistan’s next engagement is a one-off Test in Bangladesh, before a tri-series against the same opposition, also involving Zimbabwe.

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