Tue, 28 June 2022
The Daily Ittefaq

Four members of Afghanistan U19 team refuse to fly home, seek asylum in UK

Update : 09 Feb 2022, 10:58

After successful completion of the ICC U19 Men’s World Cup, four members of Afghanistan Under-19 cricket team have decided to stay back in the United Kingdom instead of going back to their country with their team-mates, according to media reports. The four members include one player and three support staffers.

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) officials have confirmed that some players from the Under-19 team left for Britain after the World Cup. This was reported by Pashtowoa, an Afghan news agency. This information was given by Zafar Hand, the editor of Pashtovoa website. One player and three officials from the Afghanistan Under-19 team have refused to return home. “I was informed by two sources in the Afghanistan Cricket Board,” Zafar Hand claimed.

The Afghanistan team boarded the flight from Antigua after their 3rd-4th playoff match against Australia to London and from there the touring party took the flight to Kabul via UAE, barring the four in question. On Monday, the players and other staff members were felicitated by the ACB. The transit visa for the four expired on February 8.

 “The Afghan Cricket Commission (ACB) has confirmed that team members under the age of 19 and three directors have fled to London, the capital of the United Kingdom, in search of asylum,” according to a report from Afghan news agency pashtovoa.com. did”.

The former Afghanistan head coach Rays Ahmazai at the World Cup urged the four to rethink and return to their home countries. Ah Mazai also said he sent a message to all four, but no one responded.

“They received my message, but they haven’t responded yet. I told them that Afghanistan needs them. Sports and cricket do a lot for Afghanistan. The support I received during. World Cup It was amazing and incredible. Sometimes when you do something for your country, it will have great implications for you throughout your life",  Ah Mazai told ESPN cricnfo.

This is not the first time Afghanistan U19 players refused to go back home and sought asylum in a different county, In 2009, after U19 World Qualifiers in Toronto, Canada, a few players sought asylum in the country and with two of them going on to represent Canada at the international level. However, this is the first instance since the Taliban took over the country in August 2022.


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