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25/06/24 | 5:37 pm

Fans flood streets to celebrate Afghanistan’s historic semi-final berth in T20 World Cup

Thousands of fans rushed to the streets in various cities across Afghanistan to celebrate as the Rashid Khan-led team marched into the T20 World Cup semifinals, taking down some of international cricket’s bigwigs along the way.

The exuberant celebrations began the moment pacer Naveen-ul-Haq took the final wicket of the match at the Arnos Vale Ground in Kingstown. As the wicket fell, players rushed towards the Afghanistan dugout to mark the historic occasion, triggering emotional reactions among the fans in the stands.

Their hard-fought eight-run victory over Bangladesh in a rain-affected Super 8 match propelled Afghanistan into the last four stage alongside India, England, and South Africa. This win also meant the elimination of former champions Australia, who have consistently declined to host Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s rule in the country.

Afghanistan had previously stunned New Zealand in the league stage and defeated Australia in a Super 8 encounter a few days prior.

Cricket holds a special place in the hearts of Afghans. The team’s remarkable performances in the World Cup have brought moments of widespread joy in a nation scarred by four decades of conflict and grappling with economic, humanitarian, and political challenges.

Many celebrations were short-lived, however. The Taliban authorities, who have regularly cracked down quickly on unannounced public gatherings since retaking power in 2021, sent in security personnel to disperse the crowds.

In eastern Khost, fire brigades and security personnel used water cannons to clear jubilant fans from the roads.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) shared images of these scenes from various cities on X.

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Last Updated: 25th Jul 2024