Afghanistan cancelled cricket fixtures with Pakistan after Kabul attack

Vastavam web: Afghanistan have cancelled proposed home and away cricket fixtures with Pakistan after a deadly bomb attack blamed by the country’s intelligence agency on militants allegedly backed by Islamabad.Pakistan were set to play their first Twenty20 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.
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 Pakistan Cricket Board,” 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.”India has refused to play a full series since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, while ties with fellow Test team Bangladesh have also soured after Pakistan pulled out of a planned series in July.
Pakistani officials said they were unhappy that Bangladesh were not willing to send their team to Pakistan.Only minnows Zimbabwe have been willing to tour the insecurity-wracked country since a 2009 militant attack on the visiting Sri Lanka team.Afghans learned to play cricket in refugee camps in Pakistan after they were forced to leave their homes in the wake of the Soviet invasion in 1979.The sport struggled to get a foothold in Afghanistan under the hardline Taliban, but has become hugely popular since the Islamist regime was toppled in a US-led invasion in 2001.