‘Shpageeza’ begins after glitzy show of pyrotechnics
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan’s biggest annual cricketing contest got off to a spectacular start on Tuesday after a glitzy show of fireworks and a riot of colours at the Kabul International Stadium.
Organised by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), the T-20 event -- called Shpageeza (Sixes) Tournament, feature six teams. The overnight opening ceremony attracted a large number of people.
In a major first, this year each side is being sponsored by leading companies and businessmen -- a move that brings the players and the board enough financial rewards.
Meshrano Jirga Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, parliamentarians, officials from the Presidential Palace, businesspeople, ACB representatives and thousands of fans attended the ceremony.
Following an impressive display of pyrotechnics, which lit up the night sky over the nation’s capital, the participants were shown the glittering cup at stake.
ACB Chairman Nasimullah Danish, hailing the contest as a huge achievement for the board, said cricket had made a lot of headway at the global as well as national level.
Shafiqullah Stanikzai, the board’s chief executive, urged cricket fans to lend extra zest, charm and warmth to the competition by watching all matches in large numbers.
On the sidelines of the ceremony, he told Pajhwok Afghan News ACB had done a lot this year to construct more facilities, including spectator stands, at the Kabul International Stadium.
Renowned singers Naghma, Farhad Ghafoor and Aryan Khan entertained the audience with songs inspiring cricketers. Conveying a message of peace, a dove was released into the air at the end of the ceremony.
In the opener, Band-i-Amir Cobras are squaring off against Miss Ainak Heroes. Spin Ghar Lions, Amu Crocodiles, Bust Guardians and Kabul Mashal are also participating in this Shpageeze edition.
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