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‘This is a good gesture’- Taliban leader invites Indian players in Afghan Cricket League

The Taliban leader hopes for good cricketing ties between India and Afghanistan.

Sirajuddin Haqqani-Rohit Sharma
Sirajuddin Haqqani-Rohit Sharma (Image source- Twitter)

The Taliban official Sirajuddin Haqqani has expressed support for India and Afghanistan cricketing ties in an exclusive interview with News18. Haqqani claimed that young people, especially the teens in the country, like cricket.

However, the Afghan people were going through tragic times in the recent past and were involved in conflicts and carnage. He further said the people have not been able to show their love for the game. Haqqani expressed the willingness of the Taliban to start playing sports again as things are better in the nation.

The Taliban official was even asked if the government would support Indian cricketers joining the Afghan Cricket League to mentor Afghan youngsters. He said that the gesture was positive and that he regarded the game as a way to forge “love and unitedness” amongst people.

Just last week, a bomb explosion at the Alokozay Kabul International Cricket Ground sent tremors across the Afghan capital city of Kabul. On Friday, July 29, a Shpageeza Cricket League game was underway when the bomb went off.

According to the most current sources, a suicide explosion took place in Kabul during the Afghanistan Premier T20 match. The players from both teams escaped inside a bunker. UN representatives were also at the stadium at the time of the event.

Cricket was not a popular sport in Afghanistan until the early 2000s and its rapid growth was tied to the conflict. Afghan refugees picked up the sport in Pakistan spreading it back home.

The Afghanistan National team has taken giant strides in international cricket since then as they earned Test status back in 2017, playing their first Test against India. They now rank in the top 10 teams in the world in both ODIs and T20 formats.

Cricket has served as a symbol of hope over the past 20 years in the country and has done the job of bringing people together from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Rashid Khan has emerged as one of the rising stars from Afghanistan who is loved by the entire cricketing fraternity. He was also awarded the title of the Men’s T20I Player of the Decade in 2020.

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