Mohammad Shahzad, the Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman, cannot play “any form of cricket” for a year. The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), which had earlier suspended Shahzad indefinitely for breaching the board’s code of conduct, has fixed the term of his suspension.
Shahzad’s suspension comes after he breached of a policy that requires players to seek the board’s permission before travelling out of the country. ESPNcricinfo understands that Shahzad is based in Peshawar, Pakistan, and was recently seen training there.
“ACB has well-equipped training and practice facilities within the country and Afghan players do not require to travel abroad for such purposes,” the ACB said in a statement on Sunday.
Last year, the ACB had fined Shahzad and asked him to relocate to Afghanistan permanently or risk having his contract terminated.
Shahzad spent his early years in a refugee camp in Peshawar, but his parents are originally from Nangarhar, Afghanistan. Like many of his Afghanistan team-mates, Shahzad grew up near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; he also got married in Peshawar. A significant number of Afghans, once refugees, now reside in Pakistan, mainly in Peshawar, registered in the country as temporary residents.
Shahzad has been in the news a fair bit in recent times. He was sent back home from the World Cup because of a knee injury but told media in Kabul soon after that he was fit to play and hinted that the team just didn’t want him with them. “If they don’t want me to play, I will quit cricket,” he had said at the time.
The senior cricketer, an integral part of Afghanistan’s rise up the ranks to Test status, had also served a retrospective one-year ban in 2017 for “inadvertently” consuming a banned substance