Qatar flies Afghan cricket team to Doha for training ahead of T20 World Cup

The team travelled at the request of the Taliban government so they could take part in a training camp ahead of an "upcoming championship".

Cricket bat and balls

Representative Image: Afghanistan Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Alkhater wrote on Twitter the national team travelled at the request of the Taliban government so they could take part in a training camp ahead of an "upcoming championship".   -  GETTY IMAGES

Afghanistan men's national team are among more than 300 passengers on board a chartered civilian flight that departed Kabul for Doha on Wednesday, a Qatari official said.

Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Alkhater wrote on Twitter the team travelled at the request of the Taliban government so they could take part in a training camp ahead of an "upcoming championship". The team is due this month to take part in the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

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Alkhater said there were also citizens from Japan, Belgium, Ireland, Britain, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Sweden and Canada on board, among other countries, and Afghan journalists.

It was the sixth chartered Qatari flight out of Kabul - and carried the the most passengers - since U.S. forces withdrew in August.

A video posted on Twitter by Alkhater showed a Qatar Airways plane taking off from Kabul airport. Qatar, a close U.S. ally, is a key interlocutor between the West and the Taliban.

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