Thousands of Afghans took a break from the war yesterday, glued to their television sets to watch their cricketers take on neighbouring Pakistan in a historic one-day international.
A young Afghan fan at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday
Newcomers Afghanistan, who have played just 18 one-day internationals against fellow low-ranking teams, are playing their first match against a top Test playing nation.
The game has a limited following in the capital Kabul but a strong fanbase in the south and east of the country. In the southern city of Kandahar, heartland of both Taliban insurgents and cricket lovers, shops closed as fans converged on any television screen they could find to watch the match, played in Sharjah.