Mujeeb, Farooqi and Naveen sanctioned for prioritising franchise leagues

Agency :
The Afghan trio of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen Ul Haq had their annual contracts delayed and permission to play franchise cricket revoked for ignoring “national responsibility”, said the country’s cricket board.

The players had asked the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) to be released from central contracts and grant permission to play in leagues abroad, the ACB said, illustrating franchise cricket’s growing pull in the game’s landscape.

They declined to sign the central contracts “prioritizing their personal interests over playing for Afghanistan, which is regarded as a national responsibility,” the ACB said in its statement Monday.

The board has decided to delay their contracts, and would not grant them any no-objection certificates, required to play abroad, in the next two years either.

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“The decision by the ACB is made with a focus on national priorities, aligned with the ACB’s core values and principles,” it said.

“It highlights the necessity for every player to maintain the ACB’s principles and prioritise the country’s interests above their personal ones.”

Off-spinner Mujeeb, currently representing Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League in Australia, was recently bought by Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders for $241,000.

Fast bowlers Naveen and Farooqi also have contracts with IPL franchises.