Horror struck in Kabul yesterday afternoon, after a blast took place during a Shpageeza Cricket League match, Afghanistan’s domestic T20 tournament, between Boost Defenders and MIS Ainak Knights. Reportedly, two people were declared dead post the blast.
The reason behind the blast is yet not clear, but, the local media in Kabul reported a suicide bomber detonated explosives at a security checkpoint en route to the Alokozay Kabul International Cricket Ground. Although it is Afghanistan’s domestic tournament, it has players playing from various nations like South Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Oman.
The overseas players who were taking part in this match were Cameron Delport (South Africa), Morne van Wyk (South Africa), Rayad Emrit (West Indies) and the Zimbabwean trio of Vusi Sibanda, Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl. Adam Hollioake, the former England captain, is the Defenders coach while Andy Moles is coaching Knights.
The CEO of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) ensured that all players, coaches and match officials were safe. It is said that the blast happened during the second innings of the match. The match was stopped briefly, but once the Afghanistan government-appointed security gave the clearance, it resumed.
ACB’s chief executive officer, Shafiqullah Stanikzai said, “For this tournament, a special decree has been issued by His Excellency, the president of the country, to look after the security. We heard a sound, but we were not sure exactly what happened. The match was stopped for short time but resumed once the security heads told us we can carry on. The president’s special advisor was also present at the ground to assure the security. They told us there is no threat to the players.”