Lucknow, Nov 4 (SocialNews.XYZ) Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi has dedicated his team's seven-wicket win over the Netherlands in the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to lakhs of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, who are facing deportation.
Majority of Afghanistan refugees are facing deportation after Pakistan ordered the same and following their eight-wicket win over Pakistan, opener Ibrahim Zadran had previously dedicated the victory to refugees facing deportation. A lot of Afghanistan players had grown up in refugee camps and learnt the sport there.
"Right now, a lot of refugee peoples are in struggle so we are watching their videos and we are sad for that and we are with them in this tough time. I dedicate this win to those refugees that are in pain and also to all country peoples back home," said Shahidi after the match ended.
Head coach Jonathan Trott also said in the post-match press conference that the players were aware of the happenings back home. “I think the players are attuned with everything that's going on back home, whether it's an earthquake and other things.”
"So they realize, and I think they're enjoying the joy that they're giving to the Afghan people and the smile that they currently have on their face in the changing room, but also the smiles that's giving everybody else.”
“That's the great thing about sport and being able to touch people in far further afield than just here in the stadium or in this country, but back home as well.”
Coming to the win, Shahidi was pleased with how the batting and bowling departments shaped up in Lucknow. “I can say both. We bowled well but the run-chase is good. Third consecutive time that we have chased down a target successfully. We are looking at the board and at the target of the opposition team. We are playing accordingly, and we are achieving for our team.”
He was also in awe of veteran off-spin all-rounder Mohammad Nabi being a main factor in the win, picking 3-28 in 9.3 overs. “He is a special player. He always shows his talent. Whenever team needs him, he takes responsibility, like he did today. We are all very united at this World Cup. We are enjoying our wins, and all of them are thinking about winning.”
Afghanistan are now fifth on the points table, and have a chance of making the semi-finals, something which Shahidi insisted upon, with matches against Australia and South Africa to follow in the league stage.
“Of course, 100%. We are trying our best to make it to the semi-final and if it happens, it will be a big achievement for the country. I lost my mother three months ago and my family is in a lot of pain. It will be a big achievement (to reach the semi-final), first of all for the country, but also for my family,” he concluded.