What Happened During the Pak-Afghan Cricket Match? Disturbing Events at Sharjah Stadium: Another Perspective, After an excellent cricket game in Sharjah, in which Afghanistan fought hard to stay in the Asia Cup tournament, Pakistan’s last-wicket pair dramatically won them a spot in the finals. Pakistani state media showed how angry Afghan fans broke chairs and bottles and threw them all over the stadium after their team lost.
Sources say that this was only one side of the story and that the Pakistani media “chose to show” only that side.
Sources say that a group of Pakistani fans in the stadium yelled insults and slurs at Afghani fans, which made the Afghani fans angry and led to commotion, and the crowd started to fight.
Soon, the fights moved from the stadium to social media, using offensive hashtags like #NamakHaram to insult Afghanistan. At the same time, the Pakistani media started a campaign against the Afghans that was seen all over the country.
“We (Pakistan) gave them (Afghans) space, food, jobs and shelter and they are still beating us,” some Pakistanis said on social media, and Afghans were insulted on the streets of Islamabad, Peshawar, and Karachi.
During and after the game, there was also some violence. After the game, a group of Pakistanis made fun of the Afghanis in Sharjah, which led to a fight between the two groups. There were also reports that people in Pakistan beat up Afghanis while watching the game. During the match, a group of people beat up an Afghani hotel owner in Rawalpindi. Police came to the scene to calm things down, but no one was arrested.
In the 19th over, Pakistani batsman Asif Ali lost his temper and threw his bat at Afghanistan bowler Fareed Ahmad. Fareed had struck twice in the over, including the vital wicket of big-hitting Asif. However, Asif was caught at short fine-leg trying to hook a bouncer and got into a fight with Fareed as he left the field.
Asif pointed at Fareed with his bat because he was angry, but other players and the umpire stepped in to calm things down.
Rameez Raja, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said: “We are going to express our anguish and frustration to the International Cricket Council (ICC). We owe it to our fans, anything could have happened… Our team could have been in danger… So whatever the protocol is, we will follow that and lodge our protest.”
Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan last year, Raja is also on the ICC’s working committee that is looking at cricket and how it is run there.
Meanwhile, former Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Shafiq Stanikzai called for a ban on Pakistan’s Asif Ali for his aggression. “This is stupidity at extreme level by Asif Ali and should be banned from the rest of the tournament, any bowler has the right to celebrate but being physical is not acceptable at all,” Stanikzai tweeted.
Pakistan’s Member of National Assembly (MNA) Mohsin Dawar also spoke out against a planned nationwide campaign against Afghanistan. “Using a cricket match as an excuse to hurl racist abuse against Afghans is the peak of shamelessness. Pakistan’s decades-old strategic depth policy and interventionist misadventures in Afghanistan are the reasons why Afghans have a problem with Pakistan”, said lawmaker Mohsin Dawer.
The Pakistanis have upset the Taliban government of Afghanistan. “It was fuelled by Pakistani media later. Pakistan insulted us as a country and we can’t rule out the involvement from government level. We want Pakistan to give a public apology for this,” a source in the Taliban government said.
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