KABUL: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday replied to Afghanistan Cricket Board’s (ACB) statement where they blamed Pakistan of breeding terrorism on their soil.
Pakistan were set to play their first T20 match in Kabul later this year in what was seen as an opportunity for the neighbours to ease tensions over border skirmishes and alleged proxy warfare.
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 ACB 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 PCB," 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."
In reply to ACB’s statement, PCB said that their sympathies were with the victims and their families but they will not allow neighbouring country’s board to malign Pakistan.
“The PCB strongly rejects the baseless allegations levelled by the ACB in the wake of the tragic Kabul blast,” a PCB statement read. “While our sympathies are with the victims and families affected by the tragedy, we reject the irresponsible statement made by the ACB and hereby announce the cancellation of the proposed series between the two countries.”
PCB added that they have always helped Afghanistan in developing their cricket and cricketers. “PCB has always encouraged the development of cricket in Afghanistan and millions of Afghan refugees were first introduced to the game in Pakistan,” the statement further said. “Over the years, the PCB helped cricketers in Afghanistan develop their expertise and an entire generation of Afghan national players honed their cricketing skills in Pakistan.”
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