The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Monday sacked its CEO, Lutfullah Stanikzai, over performance issues.
In a letter to Stanikzai, which was published on the ACBís website, and signed by Farhan Yousefzai, the boardís chairman, Stanikzai was told his last day in office was Wednesday, July 29.
Reasons given in the letter for his termination state mismanagement, unsatisfactory performance and misbehavior with managers.
Yousefzai also said in the letter that Stanikzai was to hand over all equipment and documents belonging to the board by Wednesday.
In a statement issued on the ACBís website, mention was made that Stanekzai had previously been issued verbal and written warnings.
Regarding his replacement, the statement read: "The post of Executive Director of the Cricket Board will be announced through open competition and a suitable candidate will be selected keeping in view the principles and policies of Human Resources (HR) of the Board."
Meanwhile, speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Stanikzai said he was surprised by the development and first found out about it from social media and not by any communication from the board.
He said he had spoken to Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhail, the state minister for parliamentary affairs, who sits on the ACB Board and even he was not aware.
"I spoke to a [ACB] board member and was told that they are not aware," Stanikzai told ESPNcricinfo.
"According to ACB constitution, the CEO is appointed by the Board and any decision concerning the CEO should be done by the Board," he said.
Stanikzai, who had served previously as a media manager, was hired as the CEO on a three-year contract in July last year immediately after Afghanistanís dismal performance at the 2019 World Cup where they finished last in the 10-team tournament without a single win.
Stanikzai had replaced Asadullah Khan who had been charged with breaching the ACB constitution and policies on various decisions.
ESPNcricinfo reported that the ICC last year alerted the ACB that it was concerned by the inconsistency in the leadership in the Afghanistan board.
That message was delivered by Imran Khawaja, then ICCís deputy chairman, who was recently appointed as interim chair of the global cricket body.
It is understood that Khawaja raised three issues with the ACB last September: concerns about its leadership, the money that the ACB receives from the ICC be strictly utilised for development of cricket in the country and, thirdly, the ACB should strengthen its internal audit.
Afghanistan was granted Full Membership in 2017, which entitled them to a distribution cost from the ICC for participating in global tournaments.
As per the new finance model, they would get around US$40 million for the 2016-23 commercial rights cycle for projected ICC revenues of $2.7 billion.
However, with the ICCís projected revenues coming down, those costs have been adjusted to close to $4.8 million per year.
ESPNcricinfo reported in January this year the ACB received about $2.4 million as part of the ICCís distribution money.
However, the ACB has been reeling financially after one of its major team sponsors pulled out in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Consequently, the ACB cut salaries of its entire coaching staff since May, ESPNcricinfo stated.