Afghanistan national team head coach Kabir Khan has dismissed the ACB's claim that he has resigned. Khan says that he complained about the hardships he faces in doing his job, but did not resign from his post. The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) insists that Kabir Khan has resigned and it has accepted it.

In a phone interview from the UK, Kabir Khan told The Cricket Post that he is willing to continue with a team that he served with pride. Kabir Khan says someone who served the Afghan team for two years wouldn't resign through an SMS. The ACB earlier said Kabir Khan sent his resignation in a text message to their chairman.

He added that one who serves the Afghan team with pride and love all the time and wishes it success more than anyone else, if he wants to resign, he would put his resignation on a piece of paper and sign it before submitting it to the ACB.

Kabir Khan says he did not have the proper environment to coach since the arrival of the new administration as he felt there were efforts to create an environment that would disturb him. Kabir says a coach needs a positive environment to be able to work.

On his SMS to the chairman of the ACB he says, “When I felt uncomfortable, my last step was to SMS the chairman of the ACB Mr. Omer Zakhilwal. I sent him an SMS because he cannot accept phone calls due to his busy schedule and other responsibilities. I wrote to him that it seems ACB members are not happy with me. I wrote that I have worked with dignity and want to continue with dignity and do not want to leave with dishonor.”

Kabir Khan says his message did not mean a resignation. He believes he was complaining about the circumstances caused mental pressure to him. Kabir says if he was resigning, he would have been asked about the reason of his resignation.

Kabir Khan was very positive about Zakhilwal and Afghan cricket during the interview. He said he wishes to continue with the Afghan squad. He seemed disappointed with the news of his resignation. Kabir said he never wished to discuss these matters in media. Kabir said he always treated Afghan cricket as his own project and never felt as an outsider. Therefore, he says, he “sweated blood instead of sweat” while working with the Afghan team because he served it with love and pride. He insisted that whoever coaches the Afghan side, he shall pursue advancing the interest of Afghanistan and the happiness of Afghans.

Kabir says the Afghan squad has tremendous talent and if it does not advance further, it will be due to mistakes. Kabir said he foresees a great future for Afghan cricket and wishes to see it being able to defeat the likes of India and Pakistan.

Kabir expressed satisfaction for the love the Afghan public gave him and the support he received from the chairman of the ACB Dr. Omer Zakhilwal. He says a lot of positive development has been seen since Zakhilwal took charge and his leadership is vital and useful for advancing Afghan cricket. He said Zakhilwal is positive, but there are people at the lower level who do not share the same view.

It seems Kabir Khan did not want to resign; rather he wanted the Chairman of ACB to know about the disturbing rumors and moves he has seen from some ACB officials.

But his complaint has been dramatically transformed into a resignation that not only shocked him, but also cricket fans in Afghanistan. There still might be an unclear background why the ACB did not wait for a proper resignation letter from Kabir Khan if he wanted to resign and acted on the basis of an unclear and controversial SMS.

Answering a TCP question about how the resignation terms are drafted in his contract with ACB, Kabir Khan said he always paid little attention to his official arrangements with the ACB and focused on the development of Afghan cricket. He says he only signed his contract with the ACB before leaving to Scotland (after two years of service) and even did not read what exactly was written there, because it never has been his concern.

TCP asked Kabir Khan whether not enforcing the follow-on against Scotland in the four day match and the decision to bat first after a rainy night and day in the second ODI against Scotland had any role in the conflict; he said it has been discussed between him and CEO Hamid Shinwari.

Kabir however clarified the background to both decisions saying the decisions were collective and right. He says he took the decisions together with the batting coach Rashid Latif and captain Nowrooz Mangal. Kabir said Hamid Hassan and Shahpoor Zadran were injured and Mirwais Ashraf was complaining about pain in his back and because the fourth fast bowler Khalidad was not with the squad due to visa issues, it was decided to give rest to the fast bowlers and give some more practice to the batsmen in the second innings of four day match against Scotland. He complained about the interference of ACB officials in his decisions while being on tours and said if two highly professional coaches decide a matter then it should be in the favour of the country and the team. ACB officials have the right to enquire, but shall respect the professional decisions made by the coaches.

On the second decision, Kabir added that it was also a collective decision as the pitch was completely dry and the concern that it may become more bowler-friendly later in the day led to our decision to bat first. Kabir says it was wrong shots by batsmen that led to a low score (120 runs) and the subsequent defeat, not the decision to bat first.

Article reproduced by kind permission of The Cricket Post