India vs Afghanistan: Afghan fans savour their moment of pride

Jun 15, 2018, 11:00 IST | Satish Viswanathan

Over in the Chinnaswamy Stadium stands, roughly 25 fans from different parts of Afghanistan, got their moment too, as they watched their nation enter the annals of Test cricket

India vs Afghanistan: Afghan fans savour their moment of pride
Afghanistan players strike a pose ahead of their maiden Test match against India in Bangalore yesterday. Pic/AFP

The Chief Executive of Afghanistan was here, so was the Indian Union Sports Minister. Never has a cricket ground in the recent past seen so many suited and booted people out in the field, officials from the BCCI, hosts KSCA as also the Afghanistan Cricket Board, all wanting their piece of history before the players took over. But over in the Chinnaswamy Stadium stands, roughly 25 fans from different parts of Afghanistan, got their moment too, as they watched their nation enter the annals of Test cricket. Some, in fact, asked their parents to send them some extra money so that they could get to Bangalore to be a part of history, albeit from the stands.

Extra efforts
"We knew we had to watch this match, so we asked our families to send us extra money to travel to Bangalore and they obliged," said Rahimulla from Khost, currently a student in Hyderabad. His friend Anees Haleem, 22, a third year BA student from Osmania University in Hyderabad, who hails from Nagahan in Afghanistan, said he couldn't hold back when their national anthem was played.

"I was in tears when I heard the national anthem. It is difficult to explain the feeling of watching your national team in whites," said the Rashid Khan fan. "It is a blessed moment for us here and back home. Our team has played international cricket in other formats, but Test cricket is the real deal. We grew up watching other countries play Tests, so to see our team now is a special feeling," he added. Kabul's Suliman, a BSc student at Brindavan College here, shared similar sentiments. "It is a big achievement for our nation. The result here does not matter. What matters is that our team has made it till here," he said.

Die-hard supporters
Suliman, a big fan of all-rounder Mohd Nabi, said cricket always brought smiles to his countrymen's faces. "People at home are celebrating the historic moment. Given the trouble back home — there was a terror attack yesterday [Wednesday] as well — cricket brings a smile to our faces. Our holidays started earlier this month, but we stayed back to watch our team make history. We can proudly say, 'we witnessed our team's Test debut'," he added.

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