Uncertainty, Distress For Afghan Cricketers After Taliban Takeover

Afghanistan's candid aggregation players appear a training affair at Kabul All-embracing Candid Ground

The able of bat on brawl echoes about Kabul's all-embracing amphitheater as Afghanistan's top cricketers adapt for their abutting bout -- aloof canicule afterwards the country fell to the Taliban.

The calm of the abandoned amphitheater is a surreal adverse to scenes aloof a few kilometres north, area tens of bags of Afghans at Kabul airport are badly aggravating to abscond on aborticide flights.

Following the beauteous achievement of the hardline Islamists, abounding of the players in cricket-mad Afghanistan's admired civic aggregation are award it difficult to focus on sport.

"The abhorrence is there in their eyes, in their voices, alike in their messages," clip bowler Naveen-ul-Haq said of his teammates in Kabul during a BBC radio account advertisement at the weekend.

"The Taliban accept said (they) won't be adverse any sportsman, but cipher knows," added Haq, speaking from the West Indies area he plays in the Caribbean Premier League.

The acknowledgment of the Taliban has sparked boundless abhorrence in Afghanistan and in the all-embracing community, animating memories of their barbarous aboriginal assignment in ability from 1996 to 2001 aback they imposed a acrid adaptation of Islamic law.

They banned best forms of ball -- including abounding sports -- and stadiums angled as accessible beheading venues.

Sports the Taliban did acquiesce were carefully controlled, and were for alone for men to comedy and watch.

They did not apperception cricket, however, and the bold built-in centuries ago on the arena fields of England is accepted amid Taliban terrorists too.

That has done little to affluence the fears of abounding players, for whom the abatement of the country is about a lot added than the sport.

"I address to the leaders of the world; amuse don't let Afghanistan go into chaos," above civic captain Mohammad Nabi tweeted canicule afore the abatement of Kabul, as the Taliban were rapidly capturing territory.

Cricket was almost accepted in the nation until the aboriginal 2000s, and its atomic acceleration in acceptance was affiliated with battle -- the action was best up in Pakistan by Afghan refugees who afresh seeded it in their home country.

But the civic aggregation has enjoyed a brief acceleration on the all-embracing arena aback then, accepting coveted Test cachet in 2017 and now ranked amid the top-10 abandon in the apple in the one-day and Twenty20 formats.

In the aftermost 20 years, it has additionally emerged as a able attribute of civic accord in a country burst by civilian war and indigenous conflict.

"If you acquisition absolute news, if you see bodies blessed together, it's alone cricket... that brings it to the country. It's that important to Afghanistan," Haq told the BBC.

That affiliation with civic character was arresting on Afghanistan's ability day -- August 19, beneath than a anniversary afterwards the abatement of Kabul.

Afghan cricketers apparent it by tweeting pictures and emojis of the tri-colour civic flag, which the Taliban accept replaced with their white banderole in areas beneath their control.

All-rounder Samiullah Shinwari had beforehand tweeted a photo with the date of the Taliban takeover of Kabul -- August 15 -- and the words: "The day Afghans absent their country and the accomplished apple aloof watched."

For the Afghan players currently alfresco the country, there are fears for their admired ones aback home.

The ancestors of Rashid Khan -- Afghanistan's better candid brilliant -- can't leave the country, according to above England brilliant Kevin Pietersen, who batten to him aftermost anniversary during a clash in Britain.

"We had a continued babble actuality on the abuttals talking about it and (Khan) is worried: he can't get his ancestors out of Afghanistan," Pietersen told Sky Sports.

There are absolute signs. On Sunday, the Afghanistan Candid Board tweeted pictures of its anew reappointed administrator to announce it would be business as usual.

Despite the uncertainty, Afghanistan's candid authorities accept said their accessible alternation adjoin Pakistan, to be played in Sri Lanka, will go ahead.

With no bartering flights operating from Afghanistan, an official said the aggregation would drive to Pakistan and fly out from there.

But alike for those who are able to comedy abroad from Afghanistan, such as Naveen-ul-Haq in the West Indies, the images from home are difficult to ignore.

"You balloon about it for a minute or two to focus on candid but it all-overs into your apperception again," he told the BBC.

"I can't say that I will be absolutely focused on arena alone candid because you can't aback you see your country like that."

(This adventure has not been edited by NDTV agents and is auto-generated from a amalgamated feed.)

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