'Heartbreaking': World rallies around Afghanistan after 'moving' moment

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Reporter
·6-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Mohammad Nabi (pictured right) crying during the national anthem and the Afghanistan's national flag raised at the T20 World Cup.
Mohammad Nabi (pictured right) broke down during Afghanistan's national anthem as the flag was raised during the T20 World Cup in a telling moment for his nation following the Taliban's takeover. (Images: Twitter)

Afghanistan made history in their emphatic victory over Scotland in their opening match of the T20 World Cup, but the scenes before the match had viewers around the world in tears.

The nation's future in world cricket appears uncertain after the Taliban regime's takeover cast their participation in major events in doubt.

WOW: T20 World Cup photo exposes glaring divide on global issue

AMAZING': Cricket world erupts over Virat Kohli'S post-game act

'DISASTER': Cricket world in disbelief over 'horrible' moment

More than two months after the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan players lined-up ahead of their first major match.

And the players showed the world just what the moment meant to them and the Afghan people.

Before the match the national anthem played and the Afghanistan flag proudly flew for the world to see.

The camera panned across the players and right at the end captain Mohammad Nabi could be seen breaking down in tears.

Nabi's raw moment of emotion was an example of the power of sport and just what the game meant for his people after years of turmoil.

Despite years of violence and upheaval, Afghanistan has an enthusiastic and widespread following of cricket and residents of Kabul were eagerly anticipating the cricket world cup matches.

The Taliban frowns upon many forms of public entertainment, but cricket has often been an exception with fans around the nation tuning in.

The Afghan national flag has been removed from many parts of the country since the Taliban's takeover ahead of the match.

This prompted Journalist Habib Khan to claim the scene of Nabi breaking down as 'moving', before the first ball was bowled.

Opposition to Taliban reign made their thoughts heard after the victory.

Amrullah Saleh, the ex-vice president who became one of the leaders of the anti-Taliban forces after the fall of Kabul, pointed out on Twitter that the cricket team had sung a national anthem and raised a flag which are not recongnised by the Taliban.

Afghanistan record historic T20 win

None of that controversy seemed to affect Afghanistan as their muscular top order fired them to an imposing 4-190 in their opening Super 12 stage match.

Spin duo Mujeeb Ur Rahman (5-20) and Rashid Khan (4-9) then combined to demolish Scotland for 60 in 10.2 overs to maintain Afghanistan's 100 per cent victory record against them in this format.

Five batters were out for ducks, three of them first ball, and only George Munsey (25 off 18 balls) scored more than 12.

"This was our plan, to bat first and put a big score," Nabi said after their biggest Twenty20 victory in terms of runs.

Afghanistan's Rashid Khan (pictured) runs and celebrates after taking the wicket of Scotland's Brad Wheal (pictured right) during the ICC mens Twenty20 World Cup.
Rashid Khan (pictured) celebrates after taking the wicket of Scotland's Brad Wheal (pictured right) during the ICC mens Twenty20 World Cup. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

"Everyone knows Rashid and Mujeeb are among the best in the world. It's a really nice team and hopefully we'll keep winning."

The Afghan openers vindicated Nabi's decision to bat first after winning the toss at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Hazratullah Zazai, who made 44 off 30 balls and Mohammad Shahzad (22 off 15) got them off to a flier with a 54-run stand and Afghanistan's batsmen never took their foot off the pedal after that.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz blasted four sixes in his 37-ball 46 but, like Zazai, fell short of his half-century.

Afghanistan's players (pictured left) high-five and celebrate the dismissal of Scotland's Matthew Cross (pictured right).
Afghanistan's players (pictured left) celebrate the dismissal of Scotland's Matthew Cross (pictured right) during the ICC mens Twenty20 World Cup in 2021. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Najibullah Zadran could not be denied his fifty though and the left-hander smashed 59 in 34 balls before falling to the final delivery of the innings.

Afghanistan's batsmen smashed a combined 11 sixes, several landing on the roof of the stadium, much to the delight of the smattering of Afghan fans in the stands.

"We have been playing some good cricket to get here, but sometimes things don't go to plan," Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer said after the thumping.

"We fought hard in the field. It's just a level check to see where our standards are. We'll be better for it in the next game."

The governing International Cricket Council will meet next month to determine the game's future in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime.

Cricket Australia has already threatened to scrap next month's one-off test against Afghanistan if the government in Kabul does not allow women to play the sport.

with Wires

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting