21 October 2017

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Monday October 16, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) has been alerted about the talents of Brisbane Roar attacking midfielder Rahmat Akbari and Sydney United 58 midfielder Naim Rahimi.
The AFF may look to convince Australian-based players, who were either born in Afghanistan or who have heritage links to the country, to commit their international allegiance to the Lions of Khurasan in the future. In 2015, South Melbourne striker Iqi Jawadi, now signed with Oakleigh Cannons, was called up to a training camp for Afghanistan. Ehsan Popal, co-founder of T3 Australia, confirmed that the AFF has been in contact and is monitoring the progress of these players. Popal was born in Afghanistan and his father played for their national team. Previously the AFF attempted to lure Mustafa Amini to represent Afghanistan before he played for the Socceroos’. “They’re on the radar,” Popal, a former Sutherland Sharks player, told Four Four Two. “Afghanistan’s priority is to make the 2019 Asian Cup. They were really big on getting Amini, but he ended up playing for Australia." Roar starlet Akbari was born in Afghanistan but left the country when he was a baby and his family relocated to Australia in 2005. The 17-year old came through the Brisbane Strikers and the Queensland Academy of Sport’s National training Centre, joining Brisbane Roar this year.
He has made one appearance in the A-League for the Roar and has played for the Joeys 15 times. Akbari was the second player of Afghan descent, after Amini, to play in the A-League. “I rate Akbari very, very highly,” Popal said. “He’s a talent. He’s a fantastic footballer.” Rahimi has spent time with Blacktown Spartans and Sydney Olympic, and will play for Sydney United 58 in the NSW NPL next year. The 23-year old, who was born in Iran, has also previously played professionally in Malaysia and Singapor. Popal said there is a number of talented young players with Afghan backgrounds currently coming through the Australian youth development systems. He believes that a new wave of players who have migrated or are refugees from Afghanistan, and other Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq and Syria, could make a big impact on Australian football in the years to come. “It’s a big thing,” he said. “There’s a lot of young ones coming through, at NPL or A-League level. A lot of 14, 15 year olds are playing for top NPL clubs. It’s just a matter of time. Some of them aren’t coming through the curriculums.”
Monitoring Desk

Wednesday October 11, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Former Australia batsman Dean Jones has been named interim coach of new Test side outfit Afghanistan on their upcoming tour of Hong Kong in the latest sign of the team's rising fortunes.
Jones, who visited Kabul last month to commentate on the Shpageeza Twenty20 tournament, will take charge for Afghanistan's four-day Intercontinental Cup game from October 20-23, and could become a permanent fixture, the Afghanistan Cricket Board said.
"(The) Afghanistan Cricket Board has appointed Dean Jones, a prominent former Australian cricketer and commentator, as its head coach for the four-day Intercontinental games in Hong Kong," it said in a statement.
"Both parties will consider a long-term agreement after the games," it added.
Jones said in a Twitter message that he was happy to lead Afghanistan's cricket team in Hong Kong.
"I am pleased to announce that I will be Afghanistan interim Head Coach for their Tour to Hong Kong #shouldbefun," he said.
Afghanistan's cricket team was catapulted into the elite club of Test nations in June and made their landmark Lord's debut the following month.
Last month, the fifth edition of the six-team Shpageeza tournament attracted big-name players, coaches and commentators, along with thousands of fans, lifting spirits in a country better known for its grinding conflict.
Afghanistan did not renew their contract with former India cricketer Lalchand Rajput and have been without a head coach since August.
Jones played 52 Tests for Australia, scoring 3,631 runs at an average of 46.55.
He made his debut against the West Indies in 1984 and played his last in 1992 against Sri Lanka.

Friday October 6, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan under-19 national cricket team has defeated Bangladesh under-19 national cricket team by 45 runs.
First Afghan players started batting that by losing all wickets succeeded to target 134 runs in 45 overs.
Then Bangladesh cricket team with losing all wickets could to obtain 88 runs in 30 overs.
Mujeb Zadran Afghan cricket player oust seven wickets from rival team.

Wednesday October 4, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Such is Rashid Khan's popularity that even a suicide blast at Kabul's main cricket stadium couldn't keep his fans away -- and the teenager is now eyeing the sport's big prizes as his international profile grows.
The 19-year-old leg spinner started playing with a tennis ball in the remote and poor province of Nangarhar, but he has now starred in the Indian Premier League and will soon make his debut in Australia's Big Bash League.
At last month's Shpageeza Cricket League, Afghanistan's Twenty20 domestic tournament, he became the youngest player to take 100 T20 wickets as he helped the Band-e-Amir Dragons to victory.
Khan's success has helped elevate cricket's profile in Afghanistan, where most players were introduced to the sport in refugee camps in Pakistan after fleeing the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation.
Even after a suicide bomber blew himself up within meters of the Kabul stadium, killing three people, Khan's fans continued to flock to watch him play.
They waved the Afghan national flag and chanted songs for Khan, some showing their devotion by painting his name on their bodies.
"I play cricket to bring victories for my country and to make Afghanistan proud on the world stage," Khan told AFP in an interview in Kabul.
This year, Khan became the first Afghan to play in the lucrative IPL, and he will also be the first from his country in the Big Bash League when he turns out for the Adelaide Strikers in December.
Adelaide Strikers coach Jason Gillespie hailed Rashid's signing as a "major coup" when it was announced last month.
"Rashid has set the world alight in T20 cricket with his energy, enthusiasm, and great control for a young guy," Gillespie said.
"He has some great variations, can bowl stump-to-stump and can be very hard to pick."
Khan was born during the Taliban's 1996-2001 rule, when sport was considered a distraction from religious studies.
He learned cricket by studying the techniques of Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar and Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi on television, and then practising outside in the dirt with his brothers using a tennis ball.
Khan, one of 12 children, began his professional career in Afghanistan's domestic league where his deceptive bowling technique soon caught the attention of national selectors. At 17, he made his international debut against Zimbabwe.
Since then Khan has been on a rollercoaster ride, taking 63 wickets in 29 one-day internationals, including the fourth best figures in one-day history -- seven for 18 against the West Indies in June.
He is also the first bowler to take a hat-trick in the T20 Caribbean Premier League, when playing for the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
"Now I want to play against the world's best and to challenge the best teams on their home turf," said Khan.
Khan's ascension to cricket poster boy in Afghanistan has coincided with the sport's stunning revival in the country.
Afghanistan was catapulted into the elite club of Test nations in June and made its landmark debut at Lord's the following month.
- Top six -
"I want to bring Afghanistan the cricket World Cup -- this is the ultimate goal of my life," said Khan, a comment that may not be as far-fetched as it sounds.
Former England captain Adam Hollioake, who coached one of the six teams in Afghanistan's domestic T20 tournament last month, believes the country "could be top six in the world" within a decade.
"I really believe the talent and passion is here in this country," Hollioake told AFP.
Afghanistan Cricket Board chief executive Shafiqullah Stanekzai told AFP he was optimistic about the sport's future in the country.
Cricket is going "from strength to strength" and there are plans to build five international-standard stadiums over the next three years, he said.
"We need five stadiums with capacity of between 15,000 and 30,000 as it is obvious that cricket is the number one sport and we have so many people coming to the grounds even in our domestic games," he said.
As the Taliban insurgency marks its 16th anniversary, ethnic divisions deepen and civilian casualties rise, cricket could serve a greater purpose than just entertainment, said Khan.
"I believe the game of cricket... is a binding force and brings many ethnic groups together and can restore peace and stability to Afghanistan," he said.

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