Victory against Pakistan celebrated nationwide
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan-A cricket team’s victory over Pakistan-A team in a friendly tie a day earlier sparked nationwide celebrations as thousands of cricket lovers emerged on roads in various provinces.
Afghanistan-A beat Pakistan-A by 54 runs in the one-off limited overs match played in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Saturday, as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif watched it.
Initially a Twenty20 but later reduced to 15-overs-a-side, the match was played at the Shalimar Ground in Islamabad, with Afghanistan notching up 154 runs before restricting the hosts to just 100 in the allotted overs.
Hundreds of people danced at drum beats in southern Kandahar province to celebrate the victory as they drove in vehicles on roads in the provincial capital, Kandahar City. The cricket lovers had decorated their vehicles with national flags and danced at all squares in the city.
They included children, youth and elderly men, calling the victory a historic movement. They said the victory over Pakistan added to the joys of winning the Under-19 premier Asia Cup title in Kuwait.
Wasiullah, who lives in the Kabul Gate area of Kandahar City, told Pajhwok Afghan News that people were very happy over recent victories by Afghan cricketers, but the victory against Pakistan was seen as truly momentous.
He said sports, particularly cricket, should be promoted in every part of the country, asking the government for special arrangements at schools to indulge students in healthy activities.
In northern Balkh province, dozens of young men and boys piled into a caravan of vehicles that careered them through the streets of Mazar-i-Sharif for hours. They hoisted huge Afghan flags, whooping and shouting.
The celebrators, coming all the way from various parts of the province, played music praising Afghan cricketers.
One of the event organisers, Ghulam Rassoul, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they were celebrating the victory over Pakistan with their cricket heroes.
He said they started making arrangements for celebrating Afghanistan’s victory while still five overs were left because they became sure of the triumph.
The cricket victory was celebrated in eastern Nangarhar and Laghman provinces, where hundreds of people emerged on roads and celebrated until late night.
Mohammad Amin, one of them, said he was taking part in the celebrations that had come to Afghans against Pakistan after a long time.
He said the government should provide all needed facilities to the national heroes in order to further develop their skills.
Similar celebrations were witnessed in capitals of southeastern Khost, Paktia, southern Zabul provinces and other major cities.
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