Friday, April 30, 2010

Afghanistan and cricket

' I am proud to be Afghan' ..says Rayees Ahmadzai. He has not fought any anglo-afghan wars, nor has killed anyone to prove his nationalism. He is playing cricket for Afghanistan in the World Cup, T20.

I never liked cricket, because whatever I remember of cricket is the isolation of living as a refugee, 'mahajir' or at times 'gelam jam'. Contrary to Rayees Ahmadzai, India's and Pakistan's cricket craze used to remind me of the dripping disdain and misery that was brought to Afghanistan by its geography. And today, Afghanistan is playing against India for the first time.

Ahmadzai says he is proud of the unity in his team and their team are proving that Afghanistan is not about war. He talks about his experience of initial exposure to cricket after 1992 world cup that was won by Pakistan. He learned cricket by playing with kids in the muddy streets of Kachai Garai, a packed refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan. The coach says, they dont even worry about rainy weather or a muddy pitch because they are used to play in hard times, not only cricket but life.

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