Afghan cricketers worried about situation at home

The bomb was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.

Mohammad Nabi is currently in India for the IPL and is part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad team.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Home is where the heart is!

They may be miles away from Afghanistan, but it seems Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan had a rather tense evening on Thursday. As the news of the U.S. dropping its biggest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan came in, the two cricketers-who are presently in India for the Indian Premier League (IPL)-immediately got in touch with their families back home.

While it was business as usual for people in Kabul-where Nabi lives, things appeared to be alright in Rashid’s native place Jalalabad too. “Everyone is safe, all is fine,” is how Nabi responded to Sportstar’s text message late on Thursday night.

The bombing happened in the Nangarhar province, of which Jalalabad is the capital. “The bomb was dropped out of the city. Our families are okay,” Nabi texted from Kolkata, where he is travelling with the Sunrisers Hyderabad, for its IPL game against Kolkata Knight Riders.

The bomb was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.

That raised concerns in the cricketing fraternity, as quite a fewAfghanistan international cricketers hail from various parts of the Nangarhar province. Achin district is mostly populated by Shinwari tribe, and the community has its biggest celebrity cricketer in Samiullah Shinwari. 

Even though the star cricketer resides in Kabul these days, it could not be confirmed whether any of his relatives are still based in Achin.

Even as Sportstar tried reaching out to the cricketer, his phone remained unreachable. Another noted cricketer from the area Shafiqullah Shafaq too remained unavailable.

However, Afghanistan’s noted cricket writer Ibrahim Momand, who knows the cricketers from close quarters, told Sportstar that there was no information about any of the cricketers’ family being affected by the bombing. 

“As of now, there is no such information. Even though a lot of cricketers hail from that region, most of them have either shifted to Kabulor has moved to bigger towns,” Momand said.

Even the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) was unable to provide any information on the development. As this publication got in touch withAfghanistan’s chief coach Lalchand Rajput, who is presently in Mumbai, the veteran coach too had no idea about the development. “We have no idea about the situation in Achin district. We are not in a position to comment,” a very senior ACB official told this publication.

However, echoing Momand’s views, the Afghan Board official too agreed that a clearer picture would be available only on Friday morning. “The bombing happened at around 7 o’clock in the evening, and since the area is on the fringes, it is difficult to get any information right away. Things would be clear in a day or two,” Momand said.

Like the commoners, even the cricketing fraternity too is keeping its fingers crossed!