Afghanistan star Mohammad Shahzad has been given a firm ultimatum by his national cricket board – move home within a month or risk losing your contract.
Shahzad, the ninth-ranked T20 batsman in the world, was this weekend fined more than AUD$5000 by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) for playing in a local tournament in the Pakistani city of Peshawar without permission.
The wicketkeeper-batsman lives in Peshawar, some 55km from the Afghanistan border, the city in which he spent much of his early life in a refugee camp.
But the ACB has moved to clamp down on their national players living overseas, giving players a month to move to their homeland.
"(Players) are not allowed to travel to any country without permission," ACB chairman Atif Mashal told ESPN.
"Those players who are living on foreign land are given a month to move back to Afghanistan with their families, otherwise the cricket board will terminate their contracts.
"Afghanistan Cricket Board has made a strict rule about player discipline and given them a one-month notice to adhere firmly with the policy.
"All players and employees should be based in Afghanistan and they are not allowed to play in any foreign country without ACB's approval."
Of the fine handed down to Shahzad, Mashal added: "He played in a club-level tournament without NOC (no-objection certificate) which is against the ACB code of conduct".
Shahzad was the hero of Afghanistan's triumph in the ICC World Cup Qualifier tournament last month, top-scoring with 84 in the final as the Afghans qualified for the 2019 tournament in the UK.
Shahzad has been a key figure in his country's rapid rise as a cricketing nation, scoring more than 4000 runs at international level ahead of their historic first Test match against India in June.