Afghanistan cricket Lovers Withstand bombers as T20 league Carries off
A suicide attack beyond Kabul cricket stadium this week may have underlined the safety dangers facing Afghanistan but the country T20 championship is currently taking on and spectators’ excitement appears undiminished
The Shpageeza Cricket League is now in its fifth version
Cricket has become one of the Afghanistan’s most popular sports in recent years
The Afghan national negative had been accorded test match status this season.
A suicide attack beyond Kabul cricket stadium this week may have underlined the safety dangers facing Afghanistan but the nation’s premier T20 championship is currently taking on and spectators’ excitement appears undiminished.
Has become one of Afghanistan’s most popular sports in the last few decades, this season, feeding the increasing success off.
Now in its fifth edition, the Shpageeza Cricket League, is one of those big sporting contests along with Premier League football, in Afghanistan, offering public amusement in a country of violence.
“Within the last couple of days we’ve seen tens of thousands of lovers waiting for hours to get into the stadium and watch the games,” said Atif Mashal, chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB).
“Cricket has brought joy to people and it’s concept of peace, unity and love.”
On a dusty, windy day at the Kabul International Cricket Ground, signs of this week’s attack in were visible outside the stadium, shattered by the blast at a police checkpoint in the windows of a local marriage hall.
But for a raucous audience kept amused by a mix of hitting and blasts the chance for a little bit of distraction, of Pashto pop tunes from the violence that has been a part of life for decades, outweighed any fears.
“We’ve got a very clear message to terrorists,” said Noor Aziz, a buff watching the match between the Kabul Eagles and the Spinghar Tigers. “We’re not likely to give up, but many explosions which you put us against.”