DateLine: 1st April 2009
Disgruntled opening batsman Rafatullah Mohmand Tuesday mulled his future -- whether to wait four years to become eligible to play for Afghanistan or revive his career in Pakistan.
Momand, 32, was pulled from Afghan squad now competing in the World Cup qualifying tournament in South Africa after being found ineligible to play for Afghanistan under International Cricket Council (ICC) rules.
"I was offered the chance to play for Afghanistan but rules did not allow it and I am disappointed," Mohmand, a former Pakistan "A" player, told AFP.
"I will think it over in the next few days -- whether to wait and become eligible to play for Afghanistan or continue playing in Pakistan."
Mohmand played 117 first-class matches and scored 4,980 runs, mainly representing Peshawar and Habib Bank Limited in Pakistan's domestic cricket before he decided to represent Afghanistan earlier this year.
He toured Australia with Pakistan "A" in 2005. He came close to playing for Pakistan against England the same year but was ultimately overlooked.
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) vice-president Allahdad Noori said Momand was withdrawn because of ICC rules.
"ICC rules demand that a player must have played domestic cricket for four years in the country he wants to represent internationally, so Mohmand must play in Afghanistan for four years to be eligible," Noori told AFP.
"Now Momand will have to decide whether he wants to play in our domestic cricket for four years," said Noori, a former captain of the Afghan team.
An ICC spokesman said the ACB was acting within the rules.
"The ACB initially provided scanned documents of Mohmand which were not readable so we asked for better copies to be emailed to us but at that stage the ACB decided to withdraw the player," media manager James Fitzgerald said.
Noori said Nusratullah (one name) has replaced Mohmand in the squad, which meets Denmark Wednesday in their first match of the World Cup qualifiers in South Africa.
Afghanistan is in Group B along with Bermuda, Denmark, Kenya, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates. Group A comprises Canada, Ireland, Oman, Namibia, Scotland and Uganda.
Four teams will qualify for the World Cup 2011, planned to be jointly host by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)