Win or lose, Afghans turn out to cheer cricket heroes



Afghanistan’s new Taliban authorities was very clear with cricket followers earlier than Friday’s much-anticipated conflict with neighbours Pakistan.

Celebrate the nationwide workforce by all means, the inside ministry spokesperson stated, however: “If you win, you shouldn’t shoot within the air.

“If you shoot in the air, you will be severely punished,” Qari Sayed Khosti tweeted.

In the tip, regardless of a creditable Afghan batting efficiency, Pakistan gained by 5 wickets.

And there was no signal of weapons or taking pictures on the Habibullah Zazai Park, an amusement venue on a hill on the outskirts of east Kabul.

There, the thousand or so followers who gathered to watch the T20 World Cup match beamed from Dubai on an enormous display screen, the temper was jubilant — and sensible.

Under an illuminated Ferris wheel, they cheered as skipper Mohammad Nabi and all-rounder Gulbadin Naib’s spectacular batting partnership gave the Afghanistan facet 147 for six.

During the day, the landscaped 90-acre park, with its meals stands, “9D” cinema and child’s rides is a haven for households, away from Afghanistan’s crises.

On Friday evening, an all-male crowd braved a cold evening to roar on their workforce.

Afghan cricket fans who gathered at an amusement park on the outskirts of Kabul wore their national colours, rather than the white and black Taliban banner. PHOTO: AFP

Afghan cricket followers who gathered at an amusement park on the outskirts of Kabul wore their nationwide colors, moderately than the white and black Taliban banner. PHOTO: AFP

“You know the situation in Afghanistan, it’s very depressing, ” admitted 25-year-old Abdul Wahab, who manages a Kabul medical centre.

“The only excuse to forget everything is cricket.”

Afghanistan’s opening recreation of the World Cup final week was a reasonably simple trouncing of Scotland, however the Pakistan match had particular resonance.

Many Afghans discovered their love of the sport in Pakistani refugee camps throughout the many years of warfare of their homeland.

Now they’re excited be competing on the highest degree with the cricket powerhouse subsequent door.

“For me, Afghanistan is the best because they are new to cricket,” Wahab informed AFP because the followers cheered one other boundary from their batsmen.

“We’ve been playing for 10 to 15 years, Pakistan for more than 100. They have more experience in cricket, even playing them is a pride for us.”

Under Afghanistan’s earlier Taliban authorities between 1996 and 2001 many types of enjoyable had been banned — similar to music — however not males’s cricket.

And now that the Taliban are again, having seized Kabul from the previous US-backed authorities in August, they’re nonetheless supportive.

Park supervisor Abdullah Ghafar Hatifya informed AFP the brand new authorities has taken a hand off method, and that Afghans of all backgrounds are welcome to come out.

One potential supply of pressure is the followers’ use of the Afghan nationwide flag — a black, pink and inexperienced tricolour — as an alternative of the Taliban’s white banner.

But, no matter the brand new authorities’s future plans, all followers agree, as one informed AFP: “This is our national flag … they don’t have the right to interfere.”

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