Pakistan and Afghanistan cricket boards fall out in wake of bomb attack

The aftermath of the bomb in Kabul that led to the death of at least 90 people
The bomb - hidden inside a tanker truck - exploded close to the diplomatic area of Kabul

A series of proposed fixtures between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been cancelled in acrimonious circumstances after a bomb attack in Kabul.

Afghanistan's intelligence agency blamed Wednesday's attack on militants allegedly backed by Islamabad.

An Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) statement it could not agree to play against "a country where terrorists are housed and provided safe havens".

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) later accused the ACB of "playing politics".

Pakistan has rejected an Afghan claim that it was involved the attack in the capital.

A PCB statement added: "The PCB strongly rejects the baseless allegations levelled by Afghanistan Cricket Board in the wake of the tragic Kabul blast.

"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.

"The informal understanding with ACB last weekend was strictly subject to conducive security conditions in Afghanistan and now stands cancelled because of continuing insecurity and instability there."

The bomb killed at least 90 people in Kabul, where a Twenty20 match between the two countries was provisionally scheduled to take place later this year.

That match would have been followed by a fixture in Pakistan and a full series at an undetermined date.

However, the ACB statement added that it "hereby cancel all kinds of cricket matches and initial mutual relationship agreement with the Pakistan Cricket Board".

Pakistan played a role in the development of cricket in Afghanistan, supplying equipment and arranging fixtures.

But in 2016, Afghanistan's national team shifted its base from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Noida, Delhi, while India's former batsman Lalchand Rajput replaced Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq as their national team coach.

Only Zimbabwe have toured Pakistan since a 2009 militant attack in the country on the visiting Sri Lanka team.

India has refused to play a full series against them since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, while relations with Bangladesh deteriorated after Pakistan pulled out of a series there scheduled for July.

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