I can sense fear on their face and in their messages : Naveen-ul-Haq on Afghan cricketers’ misery after Taliban takeover

Naveen-ul-Haq, Afghan fast bowler, has given a report of his fellow national cricketers’ situation at home amid the violent takeover by the Taliban over the national capital Kabul. The 21 year old told that there is pain in most of the communication he receives from home and also that the assurances of Taliban to not “hurt” the athletes or “bother” them in any way haven’t helped either.

Naveen-Ul-Haq, who made his debut for Afghanistan at a tender age of 17 as right arm medium fast bowler, revealed his country’s situation from inside over an interaction on BBC radio interview. He further said that the only positive news he receives from his people back home, amid this crisis, is about cricket, which is more than just a sport for the country’s people.

Haq is currently staying in West Indies, where he will be playing for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the upcoming Caribbean Premier League(CPL) starting from August 26. Haq was also in the squad of ICC 2019 World Cup held at England, though he did not feature in any of the matches.

Naveen also said that given the situation in his country, he won’t be able to fully focus on the field, though he is trying his best. Afghanistan came under control of Taliban just a week after the US withdrew their troops from the country. Videos have been surfacing over the internet where Talibani people are seen exploiting the resources and infrastructure available at the country. 

After the Taliban’s takeover, everyone in the cricketing world had expected it to be the end of cricket in Afghanistan. However, Taliban met the Afghanistan cricket team in Kabul, assuring them that they full support cricket and that they should keep playing and excelling at the sport. Another major cricketing development in Afghanistan has been the appointment of new chairman the cricket board.

Azizullah Fazli has been declared as the new chairman of the board. Fazli had already served as the chairman in the past when he had been appointed at the position in September 2018 , after the resignation of Atif Mashal, until July 2019. He was replaced by Farhan Yusufzai due to Afghanistan’s poor performance in the 2019 World Cup. Afghanistan had finished at the bottom position, however, most fans vividly remember how they had given a tough fight to Indian in the group stage match, where at one stage the match seemed pretty much in favor of Afghans, until Indian bowlers took control of the match again.

Rashid Khan, the leading spinner of Afghanistan and the ICC’s T20I Player of the Decade, had pleaded the World Leaders to take some constructive actions for his country, in a tweet posted on 10th August. Afghanistan has produced some promising cricketers over the recent years, and will they continue to do so, is a question that has arose in every cricket fan’s mind after the crisis Afghanistan is currently facing.

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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