'The fear is there in their eyes and voices' - Naveen-ul-Haq opens up on Afghan cricketers' distress due to Taliban takeover
Haq feels that the future of the sport in Afghanistan is under doubt as he expressed the uncertainties related to it.
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The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) had provided assurance that the political tensions in the country wouldn’t affect cricket. However, despite this, the cricketers back in the country are uncertain about the happenings. Taliban recently has taken over Afghanistan and owing to it, people have been trying to move from the country in large numbers.
The Afghanistan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq opened up about the entire situation and asserted that there is fear in the minds of his fellow cricketers. Naveen-ul-Haq said that Afghanistan is a country that loves cricket and that it is more than just a game for the people. He also added that cricket keeps them happy and together.
Considering the current events, Haq feels that the future of the sport in Afghanistan is under doubt as he expressed the uncertainties related to it. “The fear is there in their eyes, in their voices, even in their messages. The Taliban have said (they) won’t be troubling any sportsman, but nobody knows… If you find positive news, if you see people happy together, it’s only cricket… that brings it to the country. It’s that important to Afghanistan. It’s more than a game for Afghanistan’s people,” Haq said in a BBC radio interview.
I can’t say that I will be fully focused on playing only cricket: Naveen-ul-Haq
Naveen-ul-Haq is currently in West Indies prepping for the upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League. The fast bowler will be featuring for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the CPL. However, taking into account the situation back home, Haq told that it would be difficult for him to focus on his game completely.
“You forget about it for a minute or two to focus on cricket but it jumps into your mind again. I can’t say that I will be fully focused on playing only cricket because you can’t when you see your country like that,” Haq said.
Afghanistan is scheduled to play a limited-overs series against Pakistan in Sri Lanka and the Afghanistan board had previously expressed its confidence in the smooth conduct of the series. The PCB had previously given a proposal to host the series in Pakistan. However, the Afghanistan Cricket Board did not give a green signal to it as it was of the opinion that the series should take place on a neutral venue.