Zimbabwe cricketers refuse to return after Kabul bomb blast

Zimbabwe cricketers refuse to return after Kabul bomb blast

The blast happened on September 13 outside the Kabul stadium while the match was underway.

Kabul PCB
Afghan cricket fans. (Photo by MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Zimbabwe cricketers participating in the ongoing Shpageeza T20 Cricket League in Afghanistan have refused to return to their country. Zimbabwe Cricket board had called the players back after the bomb blast outside the Kabul International Stadium on September 13. The blast had left 13 injured and 3 dead but the foreign players and commentators have decided to continue playing in the tournament.

The reports stated Zimbabwe cricketers have opted to stay for their teams in the fourth round of the professional league. This step could infuriate the management back home, as it has been three days since the statement was made public. The league has commenced from September 11 and will be played until 22 of the same month.

Zimbabwe board has cancelled the NOC

As the statement read immediate restitution of the players from the war-torn country, the reports suggested that the Board could come hard against its players after showing cold shoulders. The board has also cancelled the NOC (No Objection Certificate) provided to the players following the detonation of explosives from the suicide bomber.

They had released the statement which stated they would never compromise the safety of the players. “We will not under any circumstances compromise on matters of player safety,” it read. The Zimbabwe media has already criticised Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) for giving a leeway to their players participating in the national fold.

“They left the country as individual players; they are not a national team, they were not sent on an assignment by Zimbabwe Cricket and therefore, no clearance was sought for them,” said the SRC chairman Edward Siwela. The list of players participating in the Twenty20 league are Vusi Sibanda, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Hamilton Masakadza, Sikandar Raza, Richmond Mutumbami, Richard Ngarava, Raza Butt and Ryan Burl.

The sixth match of the league was played between the Boost Defenders and Mis Ainak Knights when the bomb blast happened and its waves were experienced by the players and the commentators as well.