Photo Credit: Afghanistan Cricket Board
September 13th 2020: The Etisalat 4G Shpageeza Cricket League – Afghanistan’s biggest domestic T20 tournament – hosts its 5th tournament at the Kabul International Stadium.
After months of waiting, excited fans were also finally able to watch their favourite sport from stands of the stadium rather than their television screens. Although the event was planned on short notice, measures were taken by the organization and authorities to assure the safety of all who were present in the stadium.
ACB Chairman Farhan Yusefzai explained that fans present for the match understood the importance of following all SOPs provided by health authorities: “Organization of SCL this year was a challenge for us after a long delay due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, with prompt approvals from relevant authorities, we have been able to hold the event in short notice. We were also granted approval for partial participation of fans in the stadium which was well reciprocated by the crowd, especially the female fans who were able to enjoy the games closely. It is important to note that as per our commitment with health authorities, the crowd are given proper orientation regarding the relevant health guidelines to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and have them enjoy cricket.”
Photo Credit: Twitter photo of @Farhan_YusEfzai
The stadium was filled at only 30% capacity, according to rules provided by relevant authorities. The fans present showed enthusiasm for the match whilst also maintaining a safe distance as advised by health authorities.
Benafsha Hashami, a female fan present for the match said “We brave traditional challenges and come here to attend the matches and support our favorite teams. I would love to see Afghanistan have a National women’s cricket team as well in near future since the game of cricket is also loved and enthusiastically followed by female fans in our country.”
Cricket plays an important role for the youth of Afghanistan. Therefore the wait for coming back to watch the matches in person, although long, was worth it. Especially for the younger generation of fans.
“Etisalat has always been committed to youth development in Afghanistan and Cricket is the youth’s favorite sport nowadays. Therefore, we are glad to partner with ACB as a sponsor for the Shpageeza Cricket League which is the biggest domestic T20 Competition in Afghanistan”, said Etisalat Representative, Kefayatullah Nabikheil.