In a poignant and heartfelt gesture, Afghanistan’s young cricket sensation, Ibrahim Zadran, dedicated his “Player of the Match” award to the Afghans who have been deported from Pakistan, following his match-winning knock against Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2023.
Zadran, who played a swashbuckling 87-run innings, expressed his deep emotions in the post-match presentation after receiving the Player of the Match award. He said, “I am feeling very glad for myself and for my country. I want to dedicate this man of the match award to those who are sent back to Afghanistan from Pakistan.”
— Ravi Kaushik (@RaviKaushik99) October 23, 2023
In the thrilling encounter, Zadran top-scored with 87 runs, supported by his teammates with notable contributions. Afghanistan’s Shah was unbeaten on 77, and Gurbaz played a crucial role with his 65 off 53 balls. Captain Hasmatullah Shahidi also made an important contribution, scoring 48 runs off 45 balls.
“I wanted to go out there with a positive mind and positive intent, and I did it. We (Gurbaz and myself) have played a lot of cricket with each other, we have good communication while running between the wickets as we have been playing together since under-16 days,” Zadran shared.
Zadran also praised Gurbaz for his support and highlighted the crucial 130-run partnership between them. “The way Gurbaz supported me – that helped me and we got the momentum in our favor. I am feeling great for myself and my country,” he added.
The emotional dedication comes at a time when Pakistan has been deporting Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan, raising concerns about their well-being and future.
According to reports, the state-run radio of Pakistan disclosed that 3,248 Afghan refugees were returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan on October 21. Pakistani authorities have stated that more than 51,000 Afghans have been deported since the announcement of the deadline for the expulsion of undocumented migrants.
Pakistan has also introduced a new policy restricting border crossings to individuals with valid passports and visas, which will take effect on November 1. After this date, no one will be allowed to cross the Pak-Afghan border using a Pakistani identity card or Afghan permit. This decision affects approximately 1.73 million Afghans in Pakistan who lack legal documentation.
Afghanistan’s historic victory against Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2023 was marked by a dazzling display of batting by the top four batters and an outstanding three-wicket haul by Noor Ahmed. The Afghan cricket team’s triumphant performance against their neighbors was celebrated as a significant milestone in their cricketing history.