Naveen-ul-Haq to participate in SA20 as ACB reverses NOC decision, relaxes sanctions


After wrapping up his international commitment, Afghan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq is all set to appear at the SA20 2024 in South Africa. Naveen was sanctioned by the Afghanistan Cricket Board for prioritizing personal benefits over playing for Afghanistan. Apart from Naveen-ul-Haq, the ACB also sanctioned two other cricketers including Fazalhaq Farooqi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board has awarded the NOC to Naveen-ul-Haq for participating in the SA20 2024, according to ESPNCricinfo. Naveen arrived in South Africa and will play for the Durban Super Giants. He will be available to play against the Pretoria Capitals on Saturday, January 18, 2024.

Earlier, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Fazalhaq Farooqi had urged the Afghanistan Cricket Board not to feature in the central contract list for 2024. Naveen, Farooqi and Mujeeb wanted to seek better opportunities for themselves and play in various T20 leagues.

Naveen-ul-Haq granted NOC to play in SA20 2024

The ACB took the matter very seriously and sanctioned the players and did not issue any NOC to these players who were supposed to play in foreign leagues. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who was playing for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League, had to leave the franchise midway through the tournament and return home.

However, after the three players expressed their desire to play for the country, the Afghanistan Cricket Board relaxed the sanctions. By relaxing the sanctions, the Afghan players were included in the central contract, while their board of directors also granted them limited NOCs.

By not detailing the limits of the NOCs, the ACB issued a press release. It said: “The ACB will strictly consider the issuance of NOCs to respected players, giving priority to national duty and the interests of the ACB.”

According to ESPNCricinfo, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Fazalhaq Farooqi have also received NOC from the ACB and can appear in the ILT20 2024 starting January 19. All three players will also receive NOCs to play in the 2024 Indian Premier League.

Naveen-ul-Haq announced his retirement from ODI cricket after the 2023 ODI World Cup and is only available to play T20 and Test cricket for Afghanistan.

All three players were part of Afghanistan’s squad for the T20I series against India. Afghanistan lost the contest 3-0 but put up a great contest in the last match in Bengaluru. While Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq picked 1 wicket in 2 games, Mujeeb Ur Rahman too could not do much in the series and picked up 2 wickets in 2 games.

While Fazalhaq Farooqi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will play for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, Naveen-ul-Haq will play for Lucknow Super Giants. Naveen was involved in a heated exchange with Indian batsman Virat Kohli during the last edition of the IPL and has since been one of the top Afghan players that Indian fans will be watching out for in IPL 2024.

IPL 2024 will begin in March and players like Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Noor Ahmad and many more are once again ready to showcase their talent in the world’s biggest T20 league.