An article about Afghanistan Shpageeza Cricket League by Waheed Ullah Haleem.
Around 2 decades ago hardly few were familiar with a game of cricket in a war-torn country, Afghanistan. By the 21st-century spirit of cricket touched mountains and skies in Afghanistan and It has won many titles including the title of affiliate member of International cricket council in 2001, Asian Cricket Council in 2003 and full test status was given to Afghanistan recently.
Afghanistan had appeared for the first time in a mega event of ICC World T20 Cup 2010 and that was the time when I started supporting my own team, the Afghanistan Cricket Team and it also had qualified for the big event of ICC World Cup 2015 where Afghanistan had lost the matches but clinched a first-ever victory in World Cup from Scotland by one wicket.
Afghanistan cricket board organizes Shpageeza Cricket League every year but for the first time in the history of Shpageeza Cricket League overseas players are also invited in the league which includes players and coaches from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Oman, England, India.
The purpose of this league was not only to earn fame and popularity but to spread the message of peace and harmony around the globe. Every foreign player, coach, and commentators had imagined a different image of Afghanistan through social, electronic and print media but they have experienced a completely different environment and their perceptions about Afghanistan and its people have changed, said different players.
I appreciate the efforts of Respected President Ashraf Ghani, Atif Mashal (Chairman of ACB), Shafiq Stanikzai (CEO of ACB), Officials of ACB, National Players, International Players, Intelligence Agencies, Police Force, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Franchises, Social Activists, Different companies including Alokozay Group of Companies, Voice of America, Polio Eradication Program of Afghanistan, Government Officials, Politicians, and Cricket Lovers and People of Afghanistan for supporting this league, convincing the overseas player, trusting Afghan Government and people, providing security, investing and sponsoring only for the cause of peace and positive image of Afghanistan.
We all have noticed how well disciplined were cricket fans in the stadium and outside of the stadium, the way they respected each other was amazing. Usually, we see people supporting their own teams, wearing team shirts, putting team logo and paints on their faces and waving team flags but we witnessed red, green and black flags waving in the air displaying the message of peace and unity of Afghans and was Afghanistan’s victory. Despite scorching heat and the shining sun of Kabul thousands of people were there in the stadium each day to support their national Players, International Players, and Club Players.
Everybody was trying to provide security to overseas players so they could believe that Afghanistan is no more the field of battle and it has changed, learned and developed. It was this league which unites the whole country for the first time in the history of Afghanistan. The success and peaceful ending of this league was everything for the people of Afghanistan and everybody in Afghanistan preferred it over their personal interests. In the last, I will thanks President Ashraf Ghani who invited all the players in the Presidential Palace for a breakfast.
Thank you, President, for boosting their energy and confidence level. Thank you ACB for organizing such a successful event, thank you, Afghan men and women, for showing your love to cricket, thank you, Social Activists, for working with the ACB willingly and serving lunch for the crowd in the stadium, thank you, Politicians, Ministers and Government Officials for watching the match with Afghans in the stadium in rough and tough condition and boosting their energy, thank you athletes and sportsman for giving your time to live matches, thank you, peace ambassadors, for providing peace and thank you so much Afghans for supporting your own Shpageeza cricket league.
Thank you for giving your precious time to this article WahidUllah Haleem
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