According to the reports, four members of the Afghanistan U19 team have not returned to their country and have sought asylum in the United Kingdom. Out of four, three members are from support staff, and one was part of the playing squad. The team had come to West Indies for the U19 World Cup. The team qualified for the semifinal for the second time after 2018.
After losing the semis against England, the team was flying home from the Caribbean via London but four members decided to stay back in the UK as they had transit visas. On February 8, their transit visa will expire. However, the Afghanistan Cricket Board has not made any official comment on the development.
â€œThe Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has confirmed that a member of the Under-19 team and three board members have fled to the British capital, London, seeking asylum,â€ as per reports on pashtovoa.com, which is Afghanistan’s news outlet.
Former Afghanistan player and current head coach of colts team has said that he has messaged the four members and said that Afghanistan needs them.
“They received my messages. But they have not responded yet,” Ahmadzai told ESPNcricnfo on Monday.
“I told them Afghanistan needs them. Sports and cricket has done a lot for Afghanistan. The support we got during the World Cup was amazing, unbelievable. Sometimes when you do things for your country, it will mean a lot for you in your whole life.”
“Sometimes you can get emotional and can decide in the spur of the moment, but once you re-think about what you did I think it will hurt you. I believe they will go back. It is a personal choice. Sometimes you don’t have a plan. I know these people. They were very good to work for Afghanistan cricket.”