Cricketers unperturbed by Kabul blast

A suicide bomber killed three people, including a policeman, and wounded five others after blowing himself up near a stadium, where one of the matches of the Sphageeza Cricket League was going on.

A few top ACB officials confirmed that the tournament will go on as per schedule and there was nothing to worry.   -  AP

Cricketers — both local and overseas — refused to give in even as Kabul was rocked by a bomb blast on Wednesday. A suicide bomber killed three people, including a policeman, and wounded five others after blowing himself up near a stadium, where one of the matches of the Sphageeza Cricket League was going on.

Several ambulances sped away from the scene, taking the injured to the hospital, as the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) officials maintained that the players taking part in the Sphageeza League were all safe.

Hours after the incident, the cricketers too echoed similar views. “I am alright mate,” is what former South Africa cricketer Herschelle Gibbs texted to Sportstar.

Suicide bomber kills three near Kabul cricket stadium

Gibbs took charge as the coach of Muslimyar Speenghar Tigers in the franchise-based league.

Another South African, Gordon Parsons, made it clear that things were all fine in the Afghan capital. “Everything is going well for me,” he said, adding that his only concern was his team, Amo Sharks’ poor show. Asked about the bomb blast, Parsons added: “Everything is normal. It was a gas cylinder blast in one of the roadside shops apparently. There’s nothing to worry.”

Even local talent Imran Mohammadi had a similar view. The Afghanistan U-19 cricketer remained positive despite the attack. “It was a cylinder blast. There is nothing much to worry about.”

Two of the wounded in the blast were police officers. According to agency reports, the attacker detonated the bomb after he was stopped at a security checkpoint as he walked towards the stadium where a match was under way.

Farid Hotak, a spokesman for the ACB, said that the game was briefly interrupted after the attack. “All players and cricket board officials are safe,” he said.

A few top ACB officials too confirmed that the tournament will go on as per schedule and there was nothing to worry. “It all happened far away from the stadium main point. We have beefed up the security, and cricketers have nothing to worry about,” an official said.

Some of the noted international cricketers such as Abdul Razzaq and Elton Chigumbura are playing in the Sphageeza League that began a couple of days back. Former Australia cricketer Dean Jones is also in Kabul as one of the foreign commentators.