01 June 2020

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Friday December 6, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Two decades after fleeing Taliban-ruled Afghanistan with her family, Nadia Nadim is ready to go home.
“I don’t know if it’s ever going be safe,” the Paris Saint-Germain striker said in an interview with The Associated Press. “But I’ll take the chance.”
The risks are worth it for the 31-year-old Nadim, who is planning her first trip back to Afghanistan since leaving the country as a child. She is hoping to change mindsets and inspire girls to follow her onto the soccer field.
“The message I want to deliver to these kids is that everything’s possible and then telling them what they’re doing is not wrong,” Nadim said. “Playing football is not a sin. You’re not doing anything wrong. It’s a sport. It’s something that makes you happy.
“And the people around them, if I can try to teach them or show them that if you love these girls, they can become people like me.”
For Nadim, the chance to become that person only came about because of a family tragedy and a move to Denmark. Her career as an athlete would have been unimaginable in Afghanistan, especially after the Taliban seized control in 1996. Girls were not allowed to go to school, let alone play soccer.
But one day, Nadim’s father — an Afghan military general — was summoned to meet with the Taliban leaders and never returned.
“Growing up in a country where there is war and where girls weren’t really allowed anything, it was extremely hard,” she recalled. “Having my dad killed when I was young and escaping the country was no joke … and I’m just happy that I got a second chance and I made the best out of my second chance.”
The journey to a new life began in 2000 via Pakistan and Italy before being dropped off by a smuggler in Denmark. Asylum was granted after spending six months in a Copenhagen refugee camp, and Nadim discovered her skill for soccer in her adopted homeland.
“I saw the game,” she said, “and I was like, ‘I like it.’”
By 2009, she was playing for the Denmark national team. In 2014, she earned a move to the biggest women’s soccer nation in the world when she was signed by the New Jersey-based Sky Blue.
After spending 2016 and 2017 at Portland Thorns, Nadim spent the following year in England’s top league at Manchester City before securing the move to PSG, which is challenging Lyon for the French title.
“I play in one of the world’s best teams, have people who support me, have brands who support me,” Nadim said, sitting at the London headquarters of her sponsor Visa. “I couldn’t really imagine this when I was younger and one of the reasons is because I’d never seen it before … until I became 15, 16, I realized that’s something I could do.
“But I want this to be something that girls realize that it’s a possibility or have that possibility. It’s not even about being a professional, but about playing football. That’s the day I’m going to be really happy.”
Even in Europe, though, the fight for equality in soccer hasn’t been easy.
A pay dispute in 2017 with the Danish soccer leadership led to the women’s national team going on strike and forcing the cancelation of a World Cup qualifier. The pressure secured a four-year collective bargaining agreement.
“You have to fight for the things you believe in, even though that’s going to cost you,” Nadim said. “That’s what happened with the strike … and us not qualifying for the World Cup. I don’t think we would have done anything differently. I think if you had a chance to redo it, I’ll try to do the same thing, but then try not to miss the World Cup.
“But I think the change we made has been crucial not for me, not for us, but the generations after us. I think everything starts at some point. You have to take a stand and try to change it. I think that’s what we did and I hope that in 10 years, the girls playing are going to be benefiting from it.”
In her homeland, the struggle has been to bring the Afghan soccer leadership to justice after players spoke out about facing repeated sexual abuse.
“They should be proud of themselves, that they came forward and told these stories and took a stand because that’s going to change and help the next generation of girls,” Nadim said. “If they didn’t say anything, the cycle would just continue. That takes a lot of courage. And, for me, they’re really, really brave.”
FIFA this week imposed a five-year ban from soccer on Mohammad Hanif Sediqi Rustam for failing to report complaints over several years. He was a secretarial assistant to Keramuudin Karim, the now-disgraced former soccer federation president, who was banned for life by FIFA in June.
“It’s disgusting that some people would use or abuse their power,” Nadim said.
And Nadim is in awe of the strength of the players taking on figures in authority.
“Sometimes achieving your goals are not supposed to be easy,” she said. “And I hope in the future I can do something for them as well.”
That is part of the reason she is working on organizing that trip back home.
“I’d love to go back and see how everything is, to try to help some of the kids,” she said. “I want this to be something girls realize … you have the access to the game equally as all the boys and then it’s up to you if you want to play or not.”

Friday December 6, 2019
Kabul (BNA) The preparations are in full swing for Rajasthan Royals ahead of the auction for the next year’s IPL. The Royals are still waiting to lay their hands on the IPL trophy since winning the league in the inaugural season in 2008. Since that historic triumph, they have not made it to the final even once and are also one of the most inconsistent teams.
And in a desperate attempt to improve their fortunes, the Royals are leaving no stone unturned in their preparation ahead of the next season. They have already released as many as 11 players ahead of the much-anticipated auction. Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat leads the list of the released players by the franchise.
Other players that have been released are Aryaman Birla, Ashton Turner, Ish Sodhi, Liam Livingstone, Oshane Thomas, Prashant Chopra, Rahul Tripathi, Shubham Ranjane, Stuart Binny and Sudhesan Midhun. The Royals have also let their former skipper Ajinkya Rahane join Delhi Capitals as a part of a trade deal. In return, they have secured the services of Mayank Markande and Rahul Tewatia.
Fast-bowler Dhawan Kulkarni and batsman Krishnappa Gowtham have been traded to Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab respectively. Ankit Rajpoot has joined the Rajasthan-based outfit from Kings XI Punjab. The Royals already boast the likes of Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and will be looking to further bolster the side in the auction.
Rajasthan Royals have called up a number of players for trials
Ahead of the auction, the Royals have called up a number of players for trials. They recently invited Sussex fast bowler George Garton for trials. And the Royals have also sent their invitation to Afghanistan’s young chinaman spinner Noor Ahmad Lakanwal along with their national team players Naveen ul Haq and Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
Noor Ahmad Lakanwal, who is just 14-year old, made his mark in this year’s ACC U19 Asia Cup. One of his best performances came against India when he picked up 4 for just 14 runs. On the other hand, Naveen and Rahmanullah have already played white-ball cricket for Afghanistan.
Afghani journalist M.Ibrahim Momand revealed the news on Twitter, writing:
“Afghan China-man @LakanwalNoor along with @RGurbaz_21, KarimJanat &  @imnaveenulhaq
are reportedly to feature in a trial match for @rajasthanroyals ahead of @IPL Auction2020.”
Meanwhile, the auction for the next season will take place on December 19 in Kolkata. This is the first time, Kolkata is hosting the auction. All the teams have already announced the list of the players they have retained and released.

Friday November 8, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan spinner Qais Ahmad has signed for Gloucestershire to play in next season’s Vitality Blast and six Specsavers County Championship games.
The 19-year-old leg-spinner made his Test debut in September but remains a relatively inexperienced performer, with just 12 first-class appearances under his belt as well as nine List A matches and 35 Twenty20s.
He has played for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash as well as St Lucia Stars and Guyana Amazon Warriors in the CPL. The considerable excitement around the teenager was reflected in the recent draft for The Hundred, where Welsh Fire picked him up in the fourth round.
He has signed up for the entirety of the Vitality T20 Blast with Gloucs and will also be available for the final six games of the County Championship as his new side look to establish themselves in Division One following last season’s promotion.
“It is a great honor for me to join Gloucestershire after they had such a successful 2019,” said Qais.
“Having played T20 cricket around the world I have always wanted to play first class cricket in England to develop my red ball skills.”
Head coach Richard Dawson added: “I’m delighted that Qais has agreed to join us for next season as the club enters its first season in Division One since 2004.
“We had a very strong season in 2019 and Qais will help take us to the next level in both the long and short formats with his game-changing skills. He’s one of the most exciting young spinners in the world.”


Wednesday October 30, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan national taekwondo team to participate in “China Open” competitions.
Mohammad Bashir Taraki coach of Afghanistan national taekwondo team said BNA reporter, China Open taekwondo competitions will started on 7th November 2019 in China.
Six Afghan taekwondo athletes by full preparedness to participate in the competitions, Taraki added.
Open China Taekwondo Competitions is valuable and taekwondo athletes from more than 50 countries to attend in the tournament, Taraki further added.
Any Afghan taekwondo athletes who won gold medal from these competitions find way to 2020 Tokyo Olympic tournament.

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