Gutsy on area, guarded off area, Afghanistan eye large league

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Khalida Popal turns to Maya Angelou to heal her damage. Her Twitter timeline carries a quote from the good American poet and civil rights activist: “I’ve discovered that folks will overlook what you stated, folks will overlook what you probably did, however folks will always remember the way you made them really feel.” Khalida, the previous Afghanistan girls’s soccer workforce captain, now lives in Denmark after organising mass evacuation efforts, serving to numerous feminine athletes in another country within the wake of the Taliban takeover. Extra lately, Fifa evacuated 57 extra gamers and their households from Afghanistan.

Towards this backdrop, the Afghanistan males’s cricket workforce is enjoying on the ongoing T20 World Cup, gamers making an attempt to be politically appropriate throughout media interactions, embracing stoicism.

How are they feeling deep inside? Mohammad Nabi’s troops had been seen in tears when the nationwide anthem was performed in Sharjah earlier than their match in opposition to Scotland. A News9 Sports activities report claimed that the Taliban authorities officers took exception to such an emotional outbreak, asking the workforce to be matter-of-factly as a substitute.

Following the takeover, the Taliban has changed the erstwhile nationwide flag and reportedly banned the nationwide anthem.

Afghanistan rolled over Scotland of their event opener earlier than enjoying in opposition to Pakistan, a recreation which the nation’s Khaama Press Information Company referred to as “one of the vital thrilling video games in WC”.

Even Rashid Khan has modified since his Twitter post-two-and-a-half months in the past. When the previous captain was requested in regards to the scenario again house on Thursday, he replied: “Issues are getting higher. Getting regular again house and hopefully, that’s one thing which we solely hope to see a lot better sooner or later as effectively.”

Is Afghanistan cricket in a quagmire of worry? After an preliminary ‘Hello’ from a former Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) official, a question in regards to the recreation’s scenario again house was met with the sound of silence.

The boys are by and enormous silent. However the girls, from Khalida to Tuba Jan Sangar, the 28-year-old who labored to develop girls’s cricket in Afghanistan, have been talking. “Cricket isn’t just a recreation for Afghan folks. Everybody loves cricket. Now there isn’t any hope. Our gamers, our employees, they’re caught in Kabul. They’re simply anxious about their very own lives.” Sangar, now primarily based out of Canada, instructed Monetary Instances final month.

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Afghanistan gamers rejoice their win in opposition to Scotland. (AP Photograph)

Regardless of ACB chairman Azizullah Fazli’s declare that the Taliban-led authorities hasn’t “formally” banned girls’s cricket within the nation, the world is much from satisfied. In September, Cricket Australia (CA) stated that it wouldn’t host Afghanistan for a one-off Check in Hobart in November if girls’s cricket wasn’t supported. A CA tweet on September 9 acknowledged: “Driving the expansion of ladies’s cricket globally is extremely essential to Cricket Australia. Our imaginative and prescient for cricket is that it’s a sport for all and we help the sport unequivocally for girls at each degree.

“If current media experiences that ladies’s cricket is not going to be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would haven’t any various however to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Check match as a result of be performed in Hobart. “We thank the Australian and Tasmanian Governments for his or her help on this essential problem.” The Worldwide Cricket Council mandates all its Full Members to have a girls’s workforce, which is non-negotiable, and the ICC Board is more likely to talk about the Afghanistan problem after the continuing World Cup. Within the meantime, the worldwide physique has taken a ‘wait and see’ method.

“This can be a Board problem, not one thing that may be determined by the (ICC) administration. They’re clearly retaining a really shut eye on issues,” an ICC insider instructed The Indian Categorical. Regardless of the workforce’s efficiency on the T20 World Cup, Afghanistan cricket is looking at uncertainty.

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