In the midst of the numerous uncertainty now facing Afghanistan, under the new administration, Afghan cricket is anticipated to continue to thrive. The Taliban have granted the squad in Afghanistan the green light to fulfill all of its existing cricket series obligations.
Just days after the Taliban took over the country, the cricketers in Kabul were busy practicing; the calm of the stadium was a stark contrast from the scenes at the airport a few kilometers away. The return of the Taliban sparked widespread fear, reviving memories of their first stint in power. They believe sports are unIslamic and decadent, much like movies and music.
Here’s what happened the last time the Taliban ruled.
In the late 1990s, the Ghazi Stadium was used for mass executions.
For the first two days, things were very uncertain, our families too were consent, but then the Taliban leaders spoke to us, assured us, and now we are going around getting back to normalcy. Yes, my friends from Big Bash and IPL messaged me. They were a concern, and so are we, but the situation turned out to be better, and we are here for cricket, and cricket is continuing — Zahir Khan (Afghan Cricketer)
But this time, it looks like things could be different. The Taliban have approved Afghanistan’s first cricket test. Wion TV correspondent Anas Mallick spoke to the Afghan cricket board, who expressed confidence that Afghanistan will bring home the World Cup.
It is worth mentioning that we have got a good T20 side. I believe that our boys will play in the best way in the T20 World Cup. If they play well, as they are trained for, I’m sure they can bring the T20 World Cup — Hamid Shinwari (Afghan Cricket Board’s CEO)
Cricket was barely known in Afghanistan in the 2000s. Its meteoric rise is linked to conflict and refugees. In the last 20 years, it has been a symbol of national unity, bringing the nation together amid conflict and civil war.
Now in the early days, we were scared. But after that, now we will see like the government is changing and we are receiving like they love us and are caring for us, so we are playing our games— Sharafuddin Ashraf (Afghan Cricketer)
For now, the cricket team is hoping for the best. According to the board, the Taliban supports the sport and cricketing activities as usual as they gear up to travel to Australia in the next few months. Many questions remain about which flag they will compete under, but all Afghan cricketers can do; for now, it’s waiting and watch.
Cricket is a uniting factor for the people of Afghanistan. Afghan Cricket Board’s CEO Hamid Shinwari believes that with the right amount of support from the Taliban-led government, his cricket team would be able to bring the World Cup home one day.
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