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Afghan cricket fans defy bombers as T20 league takes off

Reuters |September 15, 2017, 10:20 PM IST
Afghan cricket fans defy bombers as T20 league takes off

Kabul: A suicide attack outside Kabul's main cricket stadium this week may have underlined the daily security risks facing Afghanistan but the country's premier T20 tournament is carrying on and the enthusiasm of spectators appears undiminished.

Cricket, which spread from refugee camps in Pakistan, has become one of Afghanistan's most popular sports in recent years, feeding off the increasing success of the Afghan national side, who were accorded official test match status this year.

The Shpageeza Cricket League, now in its fifth edition, is one of the few big sporting competitions in Afghanistan, alongside Afghan Premier League football, offering rare public entertainment in a country desperate for a break from endless rounds of violence.

"Over the past few days we've seen thousands of fans waiting for hours to get into the stadium and watch the matches," said Atif Mashal, Chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB).

"Cricket has brought joy to people and it has message of peace, unity and love."

Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
IND
9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
2
AUS
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
3
ENG
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
4
NZ
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
5
PAK
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
6
SL
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
7
SA
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
8
BAN
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9
WI
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
10
AFG
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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