Colombo [Sri Lanka], August 21 (ANI): The Afghanistan cricket team might take a roundabout route to get to Sri Lanka for their scheduled three-match ODI series against Pakistan, which is due to begin on September 3.
No commercial flights are taking off from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of the country, and as per ESPNcricinfo, a contingency plan worked out by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is to get Pakistan visas for all the players and support staff, get them to fly to Pakistan first, then to Dubai, and then on to Colombo for the series.
Amid uncertainties, ACB CEO Hamid Shinwari had said that the tour is going to be on schedule.
"Cricket is doing very well," Shinwari told ESPNcricinfo earlier this week. "We are going to the office (ACB). The cricket team is preparing for the Pakistan series in Sri Lanka. It is confirmed. We are committed to sending a team to Sri Lanka as soon as possible. There is a transition going on here in Afghanistan hence there is a vacuum in flight operations and availability is affected. But we will fly out as soon as we find a flight. We have our boys assembled in Kabul and they are preparing for the series."
"We hope the squad will depart in the next four days. We have updated both the PCB and Sri Lanka Cricket and both are on board. I am thankful to SLC for hosting us and that is really generous of them."
All three matches in the series will be played in Hambantota and will involve a three-day quarantine period on arrival for both sides.
With an eye on the current turmoil in Afghanistan, questions have also been raised on whether the team will be ready to participate in the upcoming T20 World Cup. But the Afghanistan Cricket Board had made it clear that the team will be ready for action when the showpiece event gets underway in Dubai.
Afghanistan cricket team's media manager Hikmat Hassan had told ANI that there is no doubt with regards to participating in the T20 World Cup and the board is keen to go ahead with a tri-series involving Australia and West Indies to help in preparations for the showpiece event. (ANI)