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Afghan Sports News

Unless otherwise noted, reports filed by Abdullah Qazi

February 24, 2014: Afghanistan loses U19 World Cup quarter-final match; National team to compete in Asia Cup

Afghanistan's U19 team lost its quarter-final match against South Africa on Sunday by 9 wickets. Afghanistan won the coin toss and chose to bat first. The Afghans scored 197 runs in 49.5 overs (all out). Unfortunately, the South Africans reached the target and scored 198 runs in just 39.3 overs (losing 1 wicket). Afghanistan will next play against the West Indies in a 5th place semi-final match in Dubai on Feb 25th.

In other cricket news, Afghanistan's national team will compete in the 12th Asia Cup One Day International cricket tournament in Bangladesh. The tournament will be held from February 25th to March 8th. Other countries participating are host country Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and defending champions, Pakistan. This will be Afghanistan's first participation in a major one-day tournament. Afghanistan's first match will be against Pakistan on Feb 27th. Then, they will take on host country Bangladesh on March 1st.

February 20, 2014: U19 cricket team enters World Cup quarter-finals; Afghanistan wins two ICC awards

Afghanistan's U19 cricket team entered the quarter-finals of the ICC U19 World Cup after defeating Namibia by 4 wickets yesterday in Abu Dhabi. Namibia won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They scored 192 runs in 50 overs, losing 9 wickets. Afghanistan managed to scored 196 runs in only 25.0 overs, losing only 6 wickets. Mohammad Mujtaba was chosen as the player of the match. Afghanistan ends the first round Group stage competition of the World Cup with a record of 2-1. They also defeated Australia by 36 runs on Monday, February 17th. Unfortunately, they did lose their first game of the competition to Bangladesh (by 10 wickets).

The U19 World Cup tournament consists of 16 teams, divided into 4 groups - A,B, C and D. Afghanistan is in Group B with Australia, Bangladesh, and Namibia. Australia and Afghanistan were the top 2 teams in Group B and so both will progress to the Super League quarter-finals. Afghanistan will move on to the quarter-finals instead of Bangladesh, as Afghanistan ended up with a higher Net Run Rate than Bangladesh, after they lost to Australia. Afghanistan's first quarter-final match will be against South Africa on February 23rd.

In other cricket news, Afghanistan was awarded 2 awards by the ICC recently. The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) won the 2013 "Best Overall Cricket Development Programme" award and the "Best Junior Participation Initiative" award. The awards recognized the country's efforts in developing the sport of cricket at all levels.

January 24, 2014: One loss and one win for Afghan U19 team in Lahore

Afghanistan's U19 team lost to Pakistan by 19 runs yesterday in Lahore, however, they came back today and defeated Pakistan by a whopping 214 runs. In today's game, Pakistan won the coin toss, and chose to field first. Afghanistan scored 266 runs in 45 overs, losing 5 wickets; 100 runs came just from Hashmatullah Shaidi (not out). Pakistan was not able to reach the target, they bowled at only 52 runs. Afghanistan's Fareed Ahmad became player of the match for taking 7 wickets. Afghanistan was touring Lahore to prepare for the upcoming U19 World Cup. They are scheduled for two warm-up matches, first against the West Indies on February 9th in Dubai and then against Scotland on February 11th in Abu Dhabi. Afghanistan will be in Group B with Australia, Bangladesh, and Namibia.
 

January 23, 2014: ACB announces Players of the Year; New stadium in Khost

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced today that Mohammad Nabi Esakhail and Hamid Hassan have been chosen to receive the "Players of the Year" award in a special ceremony held in Kabul, Pajhwok Afghan News reported. According to the PAN report, Finance Minister Hazrat Umar Zakhailwal, ACB Chairman Shahzadah Masood, Noor Mohammad Murad, ACB executive committee head and members of parliament and businessmen attended the ceremony. The two were chosen because of their performances in international competitions.

In related news, the foundation stone for a new cricket stadium in Khost province was laid by provincial governor Abdul Jabar Naeemi today, PAN also reported. The new stadium, which will have the capacity for 30,000 spectators, will be financed by the government of Germany at a cost of $1.3 million, according to the PAN report. The work is expected to be completed in two years.
 

January 21, 2014: Afghan U19 loses, A team wins, and women criticize ACB

Afghanistan's U19 team lost to Pakistan's U19 team today in Lahore by 8 wickets. Afghanistan won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They scored 180 runs in 45 overs (all out). The highest runs came from Hashmatullah Shaidi with 58. Unfortunately, Pakistan reached the target, and managed to get 181 runs in 30.5 overs (losing 2 wickets). Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq was given the player of the match honors for scoring a whopping 106 runs (not out). The two teams are scheduled for 2 more matches. Afghanistan is touring in Lahore to prepare for the upcoming U19 World Cup.

Meanwhile in Peshawar, Afghanistan's A team defeated Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by 78 runs in a 40 over match. The Pakistani team won the coin toss and chose to field first. Afghanistan set a target of 277 runs. Shafiqullah Shafiq alone scored 103 of the runs. The Pakistani team wasn't able to reach the target, and bowled out in 187 runs.

Finally, in other cricket news, Tolo news reported on Sunday that a number of female athletes are criticizing the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) for not supporting women's cricket like they support cricket for men. The female athletes said they want the ACB to provide transportation, food, and better opportunities for training, as well as overseas matches. At the moment, there is no national women's team, however, according to the ACB, matches will be held in Kabul to establish a national team. No exact dates for the matches were cited in the Tolo news report.
 

December 28, 2013: Afghan MMA fighter Bahadurzada loses second straight fight in the UFC; Afghan U19 team defeats Sri Lanka


Howard (left) and Bahadurzada (right)

Afghan mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Siyar Bahadurzada took on John Howard tonight in a welterweight match during the UFC 168 preliminaries. Unfortunately, he lost the match via unanimous decision. Bahadurzada came out strong, but was taken down with a little more than 1 minute remaining in the round. Despite doing a takedown of his own in the 2nd round, Bahadurzada could be seen running out of gas and Howard was able to better control and dominate the rest of the fight to get the decision.

After this match, the 29 year-old Bahadurzada is now 21-6-1, and in the UFC he is 1-2. He won his first UFC fight against Paulo Thiago on April 14, 2012. He then lost to Dong Hyun Kim via unanimous decision on March 3, 2013. The last time Bahadurzada lost 2 in a row was in 2004. Bahadurzada's future in the UFC does not look good at this time. One thing is for sure, he really needs to work on his ground game and cardio.

In other sports, Afghanistan's U-19 team defeated Sri Lanka by 3 wickets in the Under-19s Asian Cup cricket tournament in Abu Dhabi. Sri Lanka won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They scored 191 runs, losing 9 wickets in 50 overs. Afghanistan was able to reach the target and scored 192 runs losing 7 wickets in 47.3 overs. Tomorrow, Afghanistan will play against Bangladesh followed by Malaysia on the 31st.
 

December 14, 2013: Afghanistan loses ICC Intercontinental Cup to Ireland; Scheduled to play in Zimbabwe next month

Afghan fans were disappointed after the national cricket team lost to Ireland yesterday by 122 runs in the final of the ICC 2011-2013/14 Intercontinental Cup title in Dubai. The match had started on December 10th and ended today. Afghanistan won the coin toss an chose to field first. In the first inning Ireland scored 187 runs in 61 overs. When their turn at bat came up, Afghanistan only managed to score 182 runs in 77.5 overs. Ireland did further damage by scoring a whopping 341 runs (in 95.1 overs) in their second inning. Afghanistan fell short again and only managed 224 runs (in 94.5 overs) in their second inning). With this win, this becomes Ireland 4th Intercontinental Cup title.

In other cricket news, it was announced that Zimbabwe will host Afghanistan late next month for a limited-overs tour. This will be the first time that Afghanistan will be a hosted by a Full Member board for an international series. The first match is scheduled to start on January 28th.
 

December 8, 2013: Pakistan defeats Afghanistan in the first-ever Twenty20 international between the two countries

Today at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Afghanistan and Pakistan played their first-ever Twenty20 international match. While Afghanistan gave Pakistan a challenging game, they unfortunately, still came up short and lost the match by 6 wickets.

Afghanistan won the coin toss and chose to bat first. Afghanistan scored 137 runs in 20 overs. The highest runs came from Najibullah Nabi with 38, followed by Mirwais Ashraf with 28. Pakistan had a big number to chase, and they only managed to pull it off in the final over. On Tuesday, December 10th, Afghanistan will take on Ireland in the final of the ICC Inter-Continental Cup in Dubai.
 

November 5, 2013: ACB gets Kabul Stadium land; Afghans finish 2nd in rugby; Afghans pick up medals in Karate tournament

The Karzai administration has decided to give control of the Kabul International Cricket Stadium’s land (6.5 acres) to the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), according to a report today from Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN). The land was transitioned to the ACB in "recognition of the national cricket squad’s achievements, including earning a berth in the 2015 World Cup", said the PAN report.

In rugby news, over weekend in the West Asian Sevens tournament, which was held in Dubai, Afghanistan finished in second place, after losing to Iran 33-7. To get to the final match against Iran, Afghanistan had previously defeated UAE 33-0 and Lebanon 22-5. Host country, United Arab Emirates finished in third after defeating Lebanon.

In other sports news, according to a report from Tolo news on Sunday, Afghan Karate practitioners participating in the Ashihara Sabaki World Championship on Saturday in Romania won a total of 9 medals. Washid Ahmad Joya picked up the team's only gold medal. Three silver and five bronze medals were picked up by the Afghan Karate team as well, which finished third overall, according to the Tolo news report. Host country Romania finished in first place. A total of countries participated in the event.
 

October 12, 2013: Ruby team in India; Cricket team back home

Afghanistan's national rugby team is currently in India to participate in the 2013 HSBC Asian Sevens Series, India Sevens, Khaama Press reported today. This will be Afghanistan's second time participating in this Asian rugby tournament. Besides, Afghanistan and host nation India, Pakistan, Iran, Japan, Philippines, Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UAE, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and China will be participating. Following this event, the rugby team will travel in November to Dubai to participate in another tournament. Afghanistan's rugby team gained its associate membership in the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) in November 2011.

In other sports news, Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) reported today that Afghanistan's national cricket team arrived home in Kabul today from the United Arab Emirates where they recently qualified for a spot in the 2015 World Cup after defeating Kenya. The team was greeted by cheering fans and given a heroes welcome.
 

October 11, 2013: Shaheen Asmayee wins second season of RAPL; Afghanistan loses to Kenya in cricket

The final football match of the 2013 season of the Roashan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) was played between Shaheen Asmayee and Simorgh Alborz in Kabul today. Shaheen Asmayee, the team that did not even make it to the playoffs last season, won the match 3-1 to claim the 2013 RAPL title, along with it a $15,000 cash prize. According to reports, more than 7,000 spectators gathered at the AFF (Afghanistan Football Federation) Stadium to watch the match.

The first half ended with no goals being scored, however, only 6 minutes into the second half, Hashmatullah Barakzai scored the game's first goal. At about the 90th minute of the game, Simorgh Alborz leading goal scorer Fayaz Azizi tied the game 1-1. The game next went into overtime. Minutes into the extra 15 minutes of extra time, Hashmatullah Barakzai took advantage of a penalty kick to give his team the lead 2-1. Finally, in the 104th minute, Barakzai again scored another goal for his team to extend the lead 3-1. For the rest of the time, the Shaheen Asmayee defense prevented Simorgh Alborz a comeback.

Interestingly enough, Hashmatullah Barakzai also plays for the national team which won the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Cup in September. Barakzai was also chosen as the player of the season.

In other sports news, Afghanistan's national cricket team lost to Kenya by 34 runs in a T20I series match today in the UAE's Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Kenya won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They managed to score 149 runs. Afghanistan did poorly when their turn at bat came. They managed to score only 115 runs in 20 overs. The Afghan team will next play against Canada in Abu Dhabi on November 12th.
 

October 8, 2013: Afghanistan beats Kenya in ICC Intercontinental Cup match

Afghanistan (234 and 70 for 2) beat Kenya (162 and 140) by 8 wickets in a ICC Intercontinental Cup match today in Dubai. On the first day, Afghanistan won the coin toss but chose to field first. Kenya scored 162 runs before going all out in 55.4 overs. In their first inning, Afghanistan scored 234 runs all out in 90.4 overs. Rahmat Shah alone scored a whopping 144 runs for the team. Kenya's second inning was weaker than the first, as they managed to score only 140 runs. Afghanistan easily reached the target in the 14.5 over during the second inning by scoring 70 runs. Javed Ahmadi led with 28, followed by Rahmatullah Sahaq with 23. Player of the match honors went to Rahmat Shah for his outstanding batting. The next Intercontinental Cup match for Afghanistan will be in December when they take on Ireland in the final.
 

October 7, 2013: Final match of RAPL set; Afghan swimmer wins gold; Afghanistan gets $1 million from ICC

The semi-final matches are finally over and the two teams that will meet in the final match of the second season of the Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) are Simorgh Alborz (representing the North) and Shaheen Asmayee (representing Greater Kabul area). On Sunday, Shaheen Asmayee defeated Toofan Harriod 3-0. Then today, Simorgh Alborz defeated Oqaban Hindukosh on penalty kicks. The final match is scheduled for Friday, October 11th in Kabul. It will be held in the Afghanistan Football Federation Stadium, and will be broadcasted live on Tolo and Lemar TV.

In other sports news, 14-year old disabled Afghan swimmer Abbas Karimi won a gold medal in a disabled swimming competition in Istanbul Turkey in which 35 countries have participated, according to Khaama Press. Karimi was born without arms. With this remarkable win, many hope Karimi will be the first Afghan to represent Afghanistan in swimming at the Paralympic Games in 2014 in Brazil.

Finally, according to a report yesterday from Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN), Afghanistan will receive a $1 million preparation fee from the International Cricket Council (ICC) ahead of the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The head of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), Dr. Mohammad Noor said that "the money we will receive will allow us to develop the game even more, and it will also allow us to be as ready as we can be for the ICC Cricket World Cup".
 

October 2, 2013: One step closer to the World Cup for Afghan cricket team; Youth football team in Jordan; RAFL semi-finals

Afghanistan defeated Kenya today in a ICC World Cricket League match, making them one step closer to qualifying for the 2015 World Cup. Kenya won the coin toss and chose to bat first. Thanks to outstanding bowling from Hamid Hassan, Kenya only managed to score 89 runs before losing all wickets. When it came for the Afghan side to bat, thanks to Nawroz Mangal who scored 52 runs, they easily reached Kenya's target and won the match by 8 wickets. The match was played at UAE's Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which is considered a neutral venue. On Friday, October 4th, they have one other match against Kenya. If they win that match, they will qualify for a spot in the World Cup. Afghanistan's captain Mohammad Nabi announced that, "If we win on Friday, the whole nation will be celebrating".

In other sports news, Tolo news reported today that Afghanistan's Youth Football Team left for Jordon today to participate in the 2014 Youth World Cup 2014 qualifying round. Afghanistan will play against Maldives on Friday. A total of 43 countries from Asia are participating, according to the Tolo news report.

In other football news, the schedule for the semi-finals matches for the second season of the Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAFL) has been announced. All matches will be held at the Afghanistan Federation Football stadium. The schedule is as follows:

1st Game:

Thursday, 3rd Oct – Toofan Harirod vs Shaheen Asmayee

Friday, 4th Oct – Oqaban Hindokush vs Simorgh Alborz

2nd Game:

Sunday, 6th Oct – Toofan Harirod vs Shaheen Asmayee

Monday, 7th Oct – Oqaban Hindokush vs Simorgh Alborz
 

October 1, 2013: Afghanistan lost in volleyball but won in cricket

Afghanistan lost against South Korea yesterday in the 17th Asian Sr. Men's Volleyball Championship currently being held in Dubai (UAE). The match ended with South Korea winning all 3 sets (25/13, 25/19/25/14). This is the second loss for Afghanistan. They previously lost to Iraq on Sunday, also 3 sets to 0 (25/17, 25/17, 25/22). The tournament started on September 28th and is scheduled to end on October 6th. A total of 24 teams are participating.

In other sports news, yesterday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium (UAE), Afghanistan's national cricket team defeated Kenya by 106 runs in the T20I Series - 1st T20I match. Afghanistan won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They scored 162 runs in 20 overs. Kenya only managed to score 56 runs, thanks to outstanding bowling from Hamid Hassan, who was given player of the match honors. See scorecard. The next match in this series of 2 will be played on October 11th. Before that, Afghanistan still has 2 matches (Oct 2nd and 4th) against Kenya for the World Cricket League (WCL). If they defeat Kenya in both matches, they will guarantee direct qualification to the 2015 World Cup. If they don't win both matches, they will have another chance in New Zealand.
 

September 26, 2013: Latest football (soccer) league match results; Festival held in Kabul

De Spinghar Bazan (representing East Afghanistan) defeated Mawjhai Amu (representing North East Afghanistan) 2-1 today in a Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) match, currently in its second season. The first goal was scored by Mawjhai Amu's midfielder Abdul Jabar Arab in the 45th minute. Then, De Spinghar Bazan's forward Abdul Hadi Safi scored a goal in the 54th minute to tie the game 1-1. Ten minutes later, teammate Waid Ahmad scored another goal to give De Spinghar Bazan the lead and eventual win. Both teams went into the match with 2 losses and no wins. Neither team will advance to the semi-finals. The final is scheduled for October 11th.

In other news, a sports festival was held in Kabul on Tuesday, according to the Bakthar News Agency. The festival was held to mark World Peace Day. According to the BNA report, 350 athletes (including many football players) participated in the festival which was held at the Afghanistan Football Federation's sports field.
 

September 15, 2013: Afghan football champs get rewarded, move up in rankings

Afghanistan's national football (soccer) team have been rewarded for winning the SAFF (South Asia Football Federation) Championship in Kathmandu, Nepal on September 11, 2013. On Saturday, the Wolesi Jirga members praised their success, and announced a reward of 5 million Afghanis for winning the international title, according to Ariana News. President Hamid Karzai also gave each player the Ghazi Mir Masjedi Khan medal, 100,000 Afghanis ($1800) in cash, and a free two-room apartment. The goalkeeper of the team, Masur Faqiryar who made a series of crucial saves in the tournament was given a larger reward of $20,000 in cash, according to NDTV sports.

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has also noticed. On Friday, Khaama Press reported that FIFA has risen Afghanistan's overall ranking to 132nd, 7 places higher. The Asian Football Federation AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa also hailed Afghanistan's victory. Furthermore, Afghanistan moved up 2 places in the Asian rankings from 21st to 19th.

Many Afghans see this win, and Rohullah Nikpai's back to back medal wins in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics as the biggest sports accomplishments the country has seen in its recent history. The team now hopes to match their success in the upcoming AFC Challenge Cup, scheduled to be held in Maldives next year.
 

September 11, 2013: Afghanistan defeats India to win SAFF Championship

Afghanistan made history tonight by defeating India 2-0 in the final match of the (SAFF) South Asian Football Federation Cup in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was the first time in history that Afghanistan has won this tournament. The first goal came from Mustafa Azadzoy in the 8th minute, and the second was scored by Sandjar Ahmadi close to the 62nd minute. In the meantime, Afghan goalkeeper Mansur Faqiryar did a phenomenal job of preventing opposition goals - not just in this game, but the tournament as a whole.

Watch video of highlights
 

September 10, 2013: Afghanistan to face India in SAFF final match

India defeated Maldives last night 1-0 in a semi-final football (soccer) match, and will now face off against Afghanistan in the final match of the (SAFF) South Asian Football Federation Cup on Wednesday night. Tolo news reported today that 3 Afghan ministers (Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, Minister of Finance; Farooq Wardak, Minister of Education; and Wais Ahmad Barmak, Minister of Urban Development) will travel to Nepal to cheer and show their support for Afghanistan's national football team. The last time the two teams met in the SAFF final was in 2011, and India defeated Afghanistan 4-0. Since then, Afghan football has tremendously improved. The match will be broadcasted live on Tolo and Lemar TV.
 

September 8, 2013: Afghanistan moves on to final of SAFF Championship

Afghanistan won 1-0 in their 2013 SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship semi-final match against Nepal tonight in Kathmandu, Nepal. Afghanistan's Sandjar Ahmadi scored the only goal of the game after the 10th minute. While Ahmadi provided Afghanistan's winning goal, goalie Mansur Faqiryar prevented Nepal from scoring a goal of their own. With this win, Afghanistan is now in the final match. The winner of the Madlives vs. India match tomorrow night will decide the other team. The final match is scheduled for Wednesday, September 11th.

Watch Full Match
 
A total of 8 teams participated in the event, which started on August 31st. The teams were divided 2 groups. Group A consists of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Afghanistan is in group B with Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan.
 

September 4, 2013: Afghanistan registers 2 wins a row in SAFF Championship

Afghanistan has registered two wins in a row so far in the 8th South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship, currently being held in Kathmandu, Nepal. Yesterday, September 3rd, Afghanistan's first match was against Bhutan. Afghanistan shut down Bhutan 3-0. Click here to see highlights from the match. The goals from Afghanistan were scored by Islam Amiri, Mustafa Azadzoy, and Hashmatullah Barakzai.

Then today, Afghanistan defeated Sri Lanka 3-1. Click here to see highlights from the match.
The goals from Afghanistan came from Rafi Barakzai at the 62nd minute, Haroon Fakhruddin at the 75th minute, and Hashmatullah Barakzai at the 86th minute.

Afghanistan's next match is on September 6th against Maldives. A total of 8 teams are participating in the event. The teams are divided into 2 groups. Group A consists of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Afghanistan is in group B with Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan.
 

August 30, 2013: Latest football (soccer) league match results; National football team in Nepal

Simorgh Alborz's match against Mawjhai Amu ended in a 2-2 draw yesterday in the second season of the Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL), currently underway in Kabul. Simorgh Alborz represents provinces located in the North, and Mawjhai Amu represents provinces from the North East. In today's game, De Abasin Sape (representing South East) defeated De Maiwand Atalan (representing South West) 2-0. The first goal was scored by Aimal Mangal in the 24th minute and the second one was scored by Hashmatullah Azizi in the 67th minute.

Meanwhile, the national team is currently in Nepal to participate in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship, scheduled to start tomorrow, August 31st. Afghanistan's first match will be against Bhutan on September 2nd. Then they are scheduled to go up against Sri Lanka on September 4th, followed by Maldives on September 6th. The teams in the tournament are divided into 2 groups. Afghanistan is in Group B with Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The Group A teams are Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.
 

August 26, 2013: Kazakhstan defeats Afghanistan in women's football; New academy inaugurated in Kabul

Afghanistan women's football (soccer) team suffered a loss today in a friendly match against Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan scored 2 goals, while Afghanistan remained scoreless. The team is in Central Asia practicing for the upcoming South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Gold Cup, which is scheduled to begin on August 31st in Nepal.

In other sports news, Tolo news reported today that a football academy was inaugurated in Kabul today. The academy which was opened due to funding from Germany and Denmark will provide training for Afghan children and promote professional football in Afghanistan. Officials from FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) were present at the inauguration ceremony. The report added the funders (Germany and Denmark) assured that more schools like this would be opened in Kunduz, Balkh, Helmand, Kandahar, and Herat.
 

August 25, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Kyrgyzstan 1-0 in women's football


Sajia Sahar

Captain Sajia Sahar scored the only goal of the game to defeat their opponents 1-0 in a friendly football (soccer) match held yesterday in Kyrgyzstan between Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. Next, Sahar will lead her to team against Tajikistan on Monday. The Afghan women's team is currently playing a series of friendly matches against other Central Asian countries in preparation for the 2013 SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Gold Cup, which is scheduled from August 31st to September 11th in Nepal. Last year, the team finished in third place in the event, even beating their rivals Pakistan 4-1.
 

August 23, 2013: Football (soccer) league's second season underway

The second season of the Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) officially started yesterday at the Afghanistan Football Federation Stadium in Kabul. The opening match was between defending champions Toofan Harirod (representing the western provinces) and De Spinghar Bazan (representing eastern provinces). Toofan Harirod dominated the game from the opening whistle. They defeated De Spinghar Bazan 5-0. In today's game, Shaheen Asmayee (representing Kabul) took on Oqaban Hindukosh (representing Central Afghanistan) and defeated them 3-1. The next game is scheduled for August 29th between Simorgh Alborz (representing Northern Afghanistan) and Mawjhai Amu (representing the North East). The final is scheduled for October 11th.
 

August 22, 2013: Afghanistan defeats India in cricket; AFC praises Afghanistan

There was good news and bad news for the Afghan team participating in the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Emerging Teams Cup, currently in progress in Singapore. The good news is that Afghanistan defeated India (U23) by 28 runs. India won the coin toss and chose to field first. Thanks to great Afghan bowling, India was kept to 156 runs in 50 overs. Afghanistan in return scored 184 runs, the highest came from Samiullah Shenwari with 43 (not out). The bad news is that Afghanistan will not be going to the semi-finals, instead India will move on since it ranks 2nd in Group A, above Afghanistan. This was India's first loss and while Afghanistan has only 1 loss and 2 wins, the team has less net run rate. The Emerging Teams Cup is scheduled to run till August 25th. Eight teams are participating. The teams are divided into 2 groups. Afghanistan is in group A with India (U23), Pakistan (U23), and Nepal. Group B consists of Sri Lanka (U23), Bangladesh (U23), UAE, and Singapore.

In other sports news, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) praised Afghanistan for the national football team's recent win over Pakistan, and for successfully hosting an international football match in Kabul for the first time in over a decade. According to Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN), Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, president of the Asian Football Confederation in his congratulatory message to the Afghanistan Football Federation said, "The success of this match shows that football is a catalyst to bring peace. This also proves Afghanistan’s return to normalcy after decades of war". Afghanistan defeated Pakistan on Tuesday 3-0.
 

August 20, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Pakistan in football

Afghanistan's national football (soccer) team defeated Pakistan's national football today 3-0 in a friendly match held in Ghazi Stadium in Kabul. The first goal was scored by Sanjar Ahmadi during the 19th minute. The second (53rd minute) and third (71st minute) goals were scored in the second half of the match. The match was historic because it was the first international football match held in Kabul in 10 years. It has also been more than 36 years since Afghanistan last played against Pakistan. The last time the two teams met was in 1976. Afghanistan also won that match, 2-0. Another match is scheduled between the two teams in Lahore, Pakistan later this year in December. In the FIFA rankings, Afghanistan is ranked much higher at 139, while Pakistan is in 167th place.
 

August 19, 2013: Pakistan defeats Afghanistan in cricket; Ahmad Shah Abdali Baba Cricket Tournament underway

Afghanistan was defeated by Pakistan (U23) today by 2 wickets in the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Emerging Teams Cup, currently being held in Singapore. Pakistan won the coin toss and chose to field first. Afghanistan only managed to score 142 runs in 49.3 overs (all out) due to strong Pakistani bowling. The Afghan batsman really struggled in the first 20 overs. The highest runs came from Hashmatullah Shaidi with 52 (not out). Pakistan scored 143 runs in 48.4 overs (8 wickets) to win the match. Afghanistan's next match will be against India (U23) on Thursday, August 22nd. The Emerging Teams Cup is scheduled to run till August 25th. Eight teams are participating. The teams are divided into 2 groups. Afghanistan is in group A with India (U23), Pakistan (U23), and Nepal. Group B consists of Sri Lanka (U23), Bangladesh (U23), UAE, and Singapore.

In other cricket news, the 3-day Ahmad Shah Abdali Baba Cricket Tournament started today in Kabul. Teams from 5 different zones are participating in the event. In the first match, Amu Zone played against Boost. Amu Zone defeated Boost by 3 wickets. Jawaid Ahmadi was awarded as man of the match. Amu Zone will next take on Ainak Zone.
 

August 17, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Nepal in ACC Emerging Teams Cup game

Afghanistan's national cricket team defeated Nepal today by 3 runs in their first game of the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Emergeing Teams Cup, currently being held in Singapore.

Nepal won the coin toss and chose to field. Afghanistan scored 169 runs in 50 overs. Asghar Stanikzai made 33 runs, followed by Nawroz Mangal with 31,, and Gulbadin Naib with 30 (not out). The Napalese team came out strong, but thanks to Afghan bowling, they were restricted to 157 for nine in 50 overs. Afghanistan was declared winner via Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method. Afghanistan will next take on Pakistan on Monday, August 19th.

The Emerging Teams Cup is scheduled to run till August 25th. Eight teams are participating. The teams are divided into 2 groups. Afghanistan is in group A with India (U23), Pakistan (U23), and Nepal. Group B consists of Sri Lanka (U23), Bangladesh (U23), UAE, and Singapore.

Scorecard.
 

August 11, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Namibia yet again in cricket; Afghan wushi practitioners win bronze medals

Afghanistan's national cricket team defeated Namibia once again in another 50-over World Cricket League (WCL) Championship match today. Namibia won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They got off to a great start, but the Afghans were able to hold them off at 193 runs. Afghanistan scored 199 runs in 31.4 overs, winning the match by 5 wickets. Mohammad Shahzad scored 62 runs for the team; he was followed by Mohammad Nabi (not out) with 46, and Nawroz Mangal with 41. With this win, Afghanistan earns two more points and stands in third place in the overall World Cricket League Championship points table. Ireland is in first, and Netherlands is in second. The two teams reaching the final will go on to the World Cup.

Scorecard.

In other sports news, Tolo news reported today that 3 members of an Afghan wushu team won bronze medals in the 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championship in the Philippines. The event had started on August 6th and ended today, August 11th. Athletes from 38 countries participated in the tournament. The Afghan delegation consisted of 7 practitioners, a coach and a supervisor. The Afghans who won the bronze medals were Murtaza Hotek, Nasir Ahmad Logari, and Khalid Noori.
 

August 9, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Namibia in WCL cricket match

Afghanistan 289 for 4 beat Namibia 99 by 190 runs in a 50-over World Cricket League (WCL) Championship match today. Namibia won the coin toss and chose to field first. Afghanistan scored 289 runs, 113 coming from Mohammad Shahzad. Mohammad Nabi also added 81 to the Afghan total. Nabi also took 5 wickets and helped Namibia limited to 99 runs when their turn to bat came up. With this win, Afghanistan adds 2 more points to their total in the overall points table and is currently in 5th place - only one point behind the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Scorecard.
 

August 7, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Namibia in IC cricket match

Yesterday, Afghanistan 354  and 5 for 0 beat Namibia 190 and 168 by 10 wickets in a 3-day Intercontinental Cup (IC) match. On day one, Namibia won the coin toss and chose to bat first. In their first inning, Namibia scored 190 runs. Afghanistan's captain, Mohammad Nabi took 6 of Namibia's 10 wickets for 33 runs.

For part of day 1 and day 2, Afghanistan batted and scored 354 runs. Ashgar Stanikzai scored his first century in 198 balls and added a total of 127 runs to the Afghan total for the day. Former captain Nawroz Mangal scored 59 runs and Dawlat Zadran scored 50. On day 3, Namibia only managed to score 168 runs in their second inning - thanks to great bowling from Afghanistan. Izatullah Dawlatzai took 5 wickets including a hat-trick in the 67th over. In Afghanistan's second inning, they easily made the 5 runs that were required to achieve their 10 wicket win.

With this win, Afghanistan earns 20 points and falls in second place behind Ireland in the overall IC points table. Scotland is currently in third place. If Afghanistan defeats Kenya, they will automatically go the finals. Afghanistan's cricket matches against Namibia aren't over yet. On August 9th and 11th, they will play 50-over World Cricket League Championship matches.

Scorecard.
 

August 5, 2013: Pakistan and Afghanistan to square off in soccer

A friendly soccer (football) match will be played between Afghanistan and Pakistan later this month in Kabul, on August 20th, Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) reported today. An official from the Afghanistan Football Federation said that “we want to forge better ties between Kabul and Islamabad through sports links and thus bring the Afghans closer to their neighbors and the world at large". Both teams will also use this opportunity to prepare for the upcoming South Asian football tournament.
 

August 3, 2013: Afghanistan to compete in 2013 SAFF Championship in Nepal; Cricket star's father freed

Afghanistan will compete in the 2013 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Champion in Kathmandu, Nepal from September 1-11, 2013. The teams have been divided into 2 groups. Group A team members are India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Group B team members are Afghanistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan. Afghanistan's first match is scheduled for September 6th against Maldives.

In other news, the father of Afghan cricket star Mohammad Nabi Issakhel has been freed from his captors, Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) reported today. Issakhel's father was kidnapped 2 and half months ago. Security forces have detained two suspects in connection with kidnapping.
 

August 2, 2013: Afghanistan to take on Pakistan in cricket

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced today that Afghanistan's national cricket team will play at T-20 match against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on December 8th of this year. Furthermore, Pakistan will technically support the Afghan players and prepare trial camps for them. ACB added that matches like this will help to further strengthen the sport in Afghanistan. The Afghan team is currently in Namibia to take on their national team on August 4th.
 

July 31, 2013: Kabul's mayor extends his support to football team

Kabul's mayor, Younas Nawandesh has promised to extend support to the Shaheen Asmayee football team so that the team can win the Roshan-Afghan Premier League (RAPL), which will begin its second season in the next three weeks, Tolo news reported today. The event is one of the most popular football events in Afghanistan. "I strongly support the Shaheen Asmayee football club. I will try to convince the private sector and businessmen to sponsor this team," said Muhammad Younsas Nawandesh, according to Tolo news. Shaheen Asmayee is already currently being supported by Karwan University. RAPL consists of 8 teams representing eight zones of the country. Shaheen Asmayee represents the Greater Kabul area. The other 7 teams are:

Central Afghanistan - Oqaban Hindukosh
North East - Mawjhai Amu
North - Simorgh Alborz
South East - De Abasin Sape
West - Toofan Harirod
South West - De Maiwand Atalan
East - De Spinghar Bazan

All the matches are scheduled to be played at the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) stadium in Kabul.
 

July 30, 2013: Afghan cricket team departs for Namibia


Team before their departure for Namibia
Photo by Afghanistan Cricket Board

Afghanistan's national cricket team left for Namibia today to play one Intercontinental Cup match and two World Cricket League Championship matches on August 9 and 11, ESPN reported today. The team is hoping to strengthen their chances of qualifying for the 2015 World Cup with this tour. Noor Mohammad Murad, head of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said that he wishes the national team well on their Namibia tour. "We are looking forward to a top-class performance by the players, and are confident in their ability, which has shown in their performances so far in this journey to qualify for the 2015 World Cup. They have also had the benefit of a 14-day training camp in the lead up to this tour. We know they will do everything they can to make our country proud."

After this tour, Afghanistan will participate in the Asian Cricket Council's (ACC) Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore. They will play their first match against Nepal on August 17, 2013.

Upcoming International Cricket Matches:

August 4-7: Intercontinental Cup match vs. Namibia
August 9: WCL Championship match vs. Namibia
August 11: WCL Championship match vs. Namibia
August 17: ACC ET Cup - Group A match vs. Nepal
August 19: ACC ET Cup - Group A match vs. Pakistan
August 22: ACC ET Cup - Group A match vs. India
 

July 28, 2013: Afghan U16 defeated by India; New sports complex inaugurated in Wardak province

Afghanistan's U16 team lost their semi-final match against India today at the 2013 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship, currently in progress in Kathmandu, Nepal. For 90 minutes, the game went scoreless until India won 4-3 in penalty kicks. Now India will go on to face host country Nepal in the final.

In other sports news, a new sports complex was inaugurated in Afghanistan's Wardak province, Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) reported yesterday. The $232,000 cost of the project was paid for by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). At the inauguration ceremony, Abdul Majeed Khogyani, Wardak's provincial governor, said his administration has plans to build another complex in Maidan Shahr, the provincial capital, and a cricket ground.
 

July 26, 2013: Video - Afghans from Australia trying to bring the sport of MMA in Afghanistan

July 25, 2013: New stadium inaugurated in Paktika; India to take on Afghanistan on Sunday

Pajhwok Afghan News reported today that a new sports stadium containing football (soccer), volleyball and basketball courts was inaugurated in Afghanistan's southeastern province of Paktika. The project was funded at a cost of $700,000 by the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics so that the local youth can be enticed to participate in sports instead of drugs and militancy.

In other sports news, India has been confirmed to face off against Afghanistan in Sunday's SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) U16 Championship's semi-final match. India defeated Bangladesh 2-0. Afghanistan qualified after defeating Bhutan yesterday 3-1.
 

July 24, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Bhutan 3-1

Afghanistan's U16 national football team took on Bhutan today in the 2013 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship, currently in progress in Kathmandu, Nepal. Afghanistan won the match 3-1. With this win, Afghanistan will now enter the semi-finals from Group A. Nepal will join Afghanistan in Group A since they beat Pakistan 3-0. In Group B, India and Bangladesh qualified for the semi-finals.
 

July 22, 2013: Afghanistan vs. Nepal U16 match ends in 1-1 draw

Afghanistan's U16 national football team took on host country Nepal today in the 2013 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship, currently in progress in Kathmandu, Nepal. After a goalless first half, Afghanistan took the lead in the 74th minute, however, Nepal came back and scored a goal in the 81st minute. The match ended in a 1-1 tie. A total of 7 countries are participating in the tournament.
 

July 21, 2013: Pakistan vs. Afghanistan in football

Yesterday, Afghanistan's U16 national football team played their first match against Pakistan in the 2013 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship, currently in progress in Nepal. The match ended in a draw, scoreless. The Afghan team's next match will be tomorrow against host country Nepal. A total of 7 countries are participating in the tournament.

In other football news, Pakistan's The News reported yesterday that their national football team will play a friendly match against Afghanistan's national football team prior to the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Cup, scheduled to start on September 1st in Nepal. The Pakistan vs. Afghanistan showdown is scheduled for August 20th, and will be held in the Afghanistan Football Federation Stadium in Kabul which has a capacity of 7000 people.
 

July 19, 2013: Afghan U16 football team in Nepal

Afghanistan's Under 16 (U16) is currently in Nepal to participate in the 2013 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship. The football competition will start on July 20th and end on July 30th. A total of 23 Afghan footballers, including coaches and referees will represent Afghanistan. Besides Afghanistan, and host country Nepal, the other countries participating in the tournament are: India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The teams are divided into 2 groups. Group A consists of Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Afghanistan. Group B consists of India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan's first match is against Pakistan on July 20th. Then they will play Nepal on July 22nd, and Bhutan on July 24th.
 

July 16, 2013: Afghanistan will not participate in 2013 World Taekwondo Championships

Afghan Olympic medalist Rohullah Nekpa's discrimination accusations against the Afghanistan Taekwondo Federation isn't the only bad news for Afghan Taekwondo. Today, Tolo news reported that due to visa issues, Afghanistan will not be able to participate in the 2013 World Taekwondo Championships in Mexico. The visa issues cropped up at the Mexican embassy in India. Because of this, Tolo news reported that the team returned home from India yesterday.
 

July 15, 2013: Afghanistan loses 3 in a row in S. Asian volleyball tournament; Nekpa upset with Taekwondo Federation

Afghanistan as well as 3 other South Asian countries (Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka) participated in a South Asian Volleyball tournament from July 12 to July 15th in Kathmandu, Nepal. On the first day, Afghanistan lost to host country Nepal 3-2, then they lost to Maldives 3-1, and finally they lost to Sri Lanka 3-0.

In other sports news, Rohullah Nekpa the only Afghan two win an Olympic medal announced this past Saturday, that he will not participate in any further international competitions unless the leadership of the Taekwondo Federation is changed. Nekpa accused the federation' head, Zia Bakshi of treating the organization as his "personal club", picking his favorites, regardless of performance.
 

July 1, 2013: ASF annual event to start on July 4th; Afghanistan status upgraded to Associate Member by ICC

The US based Afghan Sports Federation (ASF) recently announced that it is holding its 16th annual sporting & cultural event "Afghan Cup 2013" starting on Thursday, July 4th and ending on Sunday, July 7th. According to its announcement, "the event will feature men’s & women’s soccer, men’s over 30 soccer, men’s basketball, youth basketball, exhibition tennis matches, and youth games." According to ASF, "teams from all over the United States including California, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and the Washington DC region, as well as teams from Canada and all over the world will be participating in this unique event." For more information please check the ASF website at www.afghansportsfederation.com.

In other sports news, last week, Afghanistan's membership category was upgraded to Associate Member by the International Cricket Council (ICC) at its annual conference in London. The ICC, which is the global governing body for international cricket, has 3 membership categories: Full Members with Test Cricket Status, Associate Members and finally Affiliate Members. "We see this promotion to Associate Membership status as an important recognition of Afghanistan in the international cricketing community," said Noor Mohammad Murad, Afghanistan Cricket Board's chief executive officer. He added that "Afghanistan is the only country that receives the associate membership in a short period of time in reward to the efforts Afghanistan made for the promotion of cricket". The status promotion is good for Afghan cricket as it now means more funding for the sport.
 

June 24, 2013: Gymnasium being built in Kandahar; Hockey tournament in Kabul

A gymnasium is being built in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar, according to a report from Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN). The provincial governor, Toryalai Weesa told PAN that the gymnasium is being built at a cost of $6050000 and is being funded by the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics. The purpose of the project is help lure the youth into more healthy activities.

In other sports news, a 2-day hockey tournament started yesterday in Kabul, according to Tolo news. Eighty athletes will be participating in the tournament and from that number, 15 will be selected to play for the National Army team. The tournament is being held in the National Army's training center.
 

June 11, 2013: Sports related projects in Herat

By Sajid Hasan

According to the Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN), various different sports related projects have been completed in Afghanistan's western province of Herat. Afghanistan National Olympic Committee (ANOC) Director, Mohammad Zaher Aghbar announced in a press conference on June 10th that a modern playground will be built in one year at a cost of 5 million Afghanis. The land (32 jareeb) was donated by a local businessman. He also said that 2 swimming pools and a sports hall have been opened, and that the foundation stone for a mountain climbing area has been laid down. Herat's media spokesman told PAN that currently 10,000 Herati youths are active in sports.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

June 11, 2013: Women's tournaments in Kabul end; Taekwondo practitioners receive belts in Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

Various different tournaments involving women were held in Afghanistan to mark International Child and Mother's Day in Kabul recently. The events came to a close on June 9th. According to the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee (ANOC), football (soccer), taekwondo, and other sporting events were held in which 140 athletes participated. The matches were held in the Olympic Committee's gymnasium. According to ANOC, the women's Red Crescent football team won first place in the football tournament which included 8 teams. The event was financially supported by ANOC and the Al Zuhra Society.

In other sports news, first level belts were distributed to taekwondo practitioners in Afghanistan's southern province in Helmand on June 10th . The belts were awarded by the Taekwondo Federation of Helmand province in a special ceremony. Taekwondo has really grown in popularity in the province.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

June 8, 2013: Quarter final matches start in local Kandahar football tournament; Eastern Cricket Academy defeats Arabanu in Nangarhar tournament

By Sajid Hasan

The quarter final matches of a local football (Soccer) tournament started today, June 8, 2013 in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar. The tournament started a week ago between various local teams in Kandahar province to develop the sport of football in the tournament. According to the Football Federation of Kandahar, 8 teams will play in the quarter finals. The schedule is as follow:

Ahmad Shah Baba High School vs Pameer
Isteqlal vs Zwanan (Youths)
Itefaq vS Afghan
Ainu Mainah vs Sheirzai

In other sports news, in Nangarhar province, the Eastern Cricket Academy defeated Arabanu on June 5th in the 20 over Ahmadzai Cricket Tournament. The tournament which involves 8 teams, is named after the local businessman who is financially supporting the event, Haji Hazrat Wali Ahmadzai. According to Nangarhar cricket officials, Arabanu batted first and scored 150 runs in 20 overs. The Eastern Cricket Academy reached the target in the 19th over, losing 5 wickets.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

June 5, 2013: Afghan taekwondo team in Uzbekistan; Football team loses to Tajikistan

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's national taekwondo team left for Uzbekistan Yesterday, June 5, 2013 to participate in an Asian taekwondo competition. The competition will start in Uzbekistan's Tashkent city on June 7, 2013, and will last for 4 days. According to Afghanistan's National Olympic Committee, the Afghan delegation consists of 12 martial artists, and one coach.

In other sports news, Afghanistan's national football (soccer) team played a friendly match against the Tajik team in Tajikistan yesterday. Afghanistan scored the first goal of the match, but unfortunately lost the match 2-3.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

June 1, 2013: Ariana defeats Wahdat in local Helmand football match

By Sajid Hasan

A  one day friendly football (soccer) match was held on Friday, May 31, 2013 in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand. According to the Helmand Football Federation (HFF),  the match was played between Wahdat and Ariana. HFF said that Ariana defeated Wahdat by 2-0 goals and won the match. The goals for Ariana were made by Ahmad Wali and Ziaul Haq.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 31, 2013: Hewad defeats Jamal in local Helmand cricket match


Players from Hewad and Jamal
Photo by: Sajid Hasan

By Sajid Hasan

A one day 20 over friendly cricket match was played today, May 31, 2013 in Afghanistan’s southern Province of Helmand. According to the provincial cricket board, Jamal played against Hewad. Jamal chose to bat first; they made 90 runs in 20 overs, losing all their wickets. Hewad reached target in 15 overs while losing only one wicket. From Hewad, Asad Khan made 40 runs and earned himself the man of the match honors.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 30, 2013: Basic cricket training started in Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

Basic cricket training started today in the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) meeting hall in Kabul. Thirty four people from different provinces are participating in the training. According to a press release from the ACB, the training was officially opened by Dr. Noor Mohammad Murad, the Executive Director of the ACB.  The training is being presented internally by trainers Haji Wali Ameen and Rais Ahmadzai. During the opening, Murad said Afghan cricket is moving towards further development and in the mean time we need professional Afghan trainers too. The training will take two days and 20 of the participants will go onto other  first level cricket training which will be provided by Aqbal Skandar, the ICC development section chief.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 29, 2013: Sports ground inaugurated In Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

The Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported today that a new sports ground was inaugurated yesterday, May 28th in Kabul. The sports ground was built for the Khushal Khan High School, and officially inaugurated by the Acting Minister of Tribal Affairs, Abdul Malik Sediqi. The project was financially supported by the United States Embassy in Kabul at a cost of $6000. The minister expressed his gratitude for the aid provided by the US government and encouraged the students to participate in healthy activities and to train and study hard. Ahmad Zeia Dashti, the head of the athlete's union also spoke during the inauguration ceremony.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 28, 2013: Afghan bodybuilder wins bronze

Tolo news reported yesterday that Afghan bodybuilder Osman Anwari has come in third and won the bronze medal in the European Bodybuilding Championship on Sunday. The 2-day event was held in Kiev, Ukraine, and bodybuilders from 16 countries participated in the competition. Anwari who lives in Austria, had also won the Austrian Bodybuilding Championship title a week before in the 90kg weight category.
 

May 28, 2013: Afghan Eages to take on MTR; Afghan snooker players defeat rivals

By Sajid Hasan

The Afghan Eagles cricket team will play a match against the MTR Eagles today, May 28, 2013 in the Sharjah Sixes 2013 cricket tournament, which is currently in progress in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The tournament had started on May 20, 2013 and will end on June 1, 2013. According to the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB),  the match will start at 7:30 pm Afghanistan time. In this tournament 36 teams are participating and the Afghan team is placed in Group L.

In other sports news, the Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported on May 27, 2013 that Afghan snooker players during the Asian tournament have defeated their rivals from Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain. The first round of the Asian tournament was held in Thailand.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 27, 2013: Cricket tournament ends in Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

A 12 day peace cricket tournament concluded yesterday, May 26, 2013 in Afghanistan’s southern Province of Helmand. According to the Helmand Sports Department, 8 local cricket teams participated in the tournament. Hewad and Municipality teams qualified to the final. Hewad chose to bat first; they made 150 runs in 20 overs, losing all their wickets. Municipality only made 130 runs in 20 overs, losing all their wickets. On the final day of the tournament, the provincial governor of Helmand province, Mohammad Naeem including other officials, as well a large number of ordinary people came to watch the match. Gifts were also distributed to the winning players at the end of the tournament.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 27, 2013: Ahmad Shah Baba High School to take on Ainu Maina in football; Construction work on Olympic Committee building started

By Sajid Hasan

A one day local football (soccer) match will be played today, May 27, 2013 in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar. According to a press release from the Kandahar Football Federation, the match will start at 4:45 pm local time between Ahmad Shah Baba High School and Ainu Maina. This is a friendly match to develop the sport in the province. The match will take place in the Ainu Maina playground in Kandahar province.

In other sports news, the Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported yesterday that construction work on a building for the Afghanistan's National Olympic Committee (NOC) was inaugurated by Mohammad Zahir Aghbar in Kabul. Sami Darei, the publication head of the NOC told BNA that the building will be built in the area of 800 square meters, it will be three stories, and in the shape of the Olympic symbol of five rings. According to the report, the project will be completed within one year.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 25, 2013: Afghan refugee team beats Pakistani team in cricket

By Sajid Hasan

An Afghan refugee U19 cricket team played a one day cricket match yesterday, May 24, 2013 against the Pakistani Badsha Combined Eleven cricket team in Peshawar city. According to a Taand Pashto News Agency (TPNA) report, Badshah chose to bat first. They made 277 runs in 44.2 overs, losing all their wickets. The Afghan team reached the target in 39 overs (losing only 4 wickets), and thus won the match. The highest number of runs for the Afghan team were made by Zakirullah Zaker, the captain of the team. He made 62 runs and took 2 wickets, and so he was announced the man of the match.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 23, 2013: Cricket players praised by assembly; basketball competition begins in Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

According to a Taand Pashto News Agency (TPNA) report, Afghanistan's National Assembly (Wolesi Jirga) took the time to honor and appreciate the achievements of the ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) and the players in the Wednesday, May 22nd session. The players were awarded with certificates and medals for their achievements. A ceremony was held in the National Assembly Hall, where ACB Chief, Dr. Noor Mohammad Murad, and players from the national and U19 teams were present. The first deputy of the assembly, Merwais Yasini said that the teams have brought honor to us all and appreciated their achievements. He also praised the ACB for their good management. The ACB officials and the players also thanked the assembly for holding the event and showing their appreciation for their sport.

In other sports news, a basketball competition involving disabled players started today, May 23rd in Kabul. According to Abdul Habi Rahimi, a spokesman for the Red Crescent in Afghanistan, the competition will take 3 days, and the best players will be chosen to represent Afghanistan at the national level, and be part of the national disabled basketball team. Rahimi said that the players will using wheelchairs in the competition.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 22, 2013: Football tournament starts in Kandahar

By Sajid Hasan

A tournament held to select the best players for the southern zone football (soccer) team started yesterday, May 21, 2013 in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar. According to Abdul Baseer Qayyoumi the deputy of the football federation in Kabul, teams from Kandahar (A & B teams), Nimroz, Zabul and Helmand are participating in the tournament. Qayyoumi said that the 26 best players will be selected amongst the current players to represent the southern zone in the Best League tournament which will be held later in Kabul.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 21, 2013: Baghlan governor met with ACB official; Cricket star's father kidnapped

By Sajid Hasan

The provincial governor of Baghlan province, Sultan Mohammad Ebadi met with Dr. Noor Mohammad Murad of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) yesterday, May 20, 2013, and congratulated him on the recent success of the Afghan U19 team. Ebadi told Murad that he will help to further develop the sport in the province. He also said that he will work towards standardizing the cricket ground in Baghlan and help to get training for the players. Murad appreciated Ebadi's support, and offered him advice on how to develop the sport in his province.

Meanwhile, Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) reported today that the father of Afghan cricket star and captain of the national cricket team, Mohammad Nabi Isakhel has been kidnapped. The PAN report said that Isakhel's father was on his way home when he was kidnapped at gunpoint in eastern Nangarhar province. A local resident told PAN that that kidnappers also beat Isakhel's father before driving off with him. Police have confirmed the abduction and have launched efforts to secure his release.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 17, 2013: Local football match held in Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

A local friendly football (soccer) match was held today, May 17, 2013 in Afghanistan’s southern Province of Helmand. According to Helmand’s Sports Department, Azad took on Sharwali, and Sharwali defeated Azad 2-1. One goal for Sharwali was made by Zia and the other was made by Asad Jan. Azad's goal was scored by Mohammad. On Fridays, various different friendly matches are held between the local teams in Helmand province, and lots of locals come to watch the matches.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 16, 2013: Special event held for Helmandi karatekas

By Sajid Hasan

Helmandi karatekas (Karate practitioners) were appreciated in a special event held by Helmand's Karate Federation, yesterday, May 15, 2013. The martial artists were honored for their success in a local held tournament. According to Nasratullah Nasrat the chief of the Karate Federation, they gave belts to the karatekas, as well as other prices to the first, second and third place winners. According to Nasrat, Karate is doing well in Helmand, and they have plans to provide special training to the local Karate practitioners.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 15, 2013: Cricket tournament ends in Nangarhar; football tournament ends in Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

A cricket tournament involving actors and journalists ended yesterday, May 14, 2013 in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. According to a press release from the eastern cricket board, the tournament had started 3 weeks ago. Ten teams comprised of actors and 3 teams from the Independent Journalists Association of Nangarhar province participated in the event. The press released added that Mashooq Shadab and Basharmal teams qualified to the final match of the tournament. Mashooq Shadab chose to bat first. They made 92 runs in 12 overs. Basharmal reached the target in 10 overs, losing 5 wickets. The man of the match honors went to Mohammad Raza from Basharmal. A large number of people came to watch the match.

In other sports news, according to a Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) report on May 14, 2013, the Premier League football tournament ended in Kabul. According to the BNA report, the tournament involved 14 teams, and the games were played at the National Olympic Committee sports ground. Foroozi and Urdo made it to the final of the tournament. The game ended with penalty shots. Foroozi scored 3 penalty shots and Urdo scored 2. Abdul Basir Qayoumi, the Afghanistan football federation's deputy official in Kabul told BNA that Hashmatullah Barekzai was given an award for scoring a whopping 17 goals in the tournament.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 11, 2013: Afghan U19 team wins ACC Elite Cup


Hashmatullah Shaidi

Afghanistan's U19 team defeated the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the final by 10 wickets to win the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Elite 2013 cricket tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Afghanistan made it to the final by defeating host country Malaysia in their semi-final match by 140 runs. In the final match, UAE won the coin toss, and chose to bat first. They scored only 57 runs before losing all wickets, and Afghanistan easily reached the target in the 11th over. Fifty of the 58 runs of the Afghans came from Hashmatullah Shaidi, who was awarded the man of the match. He was also the man of the match in the semi-final match against Malaysia, and was even awarded the Best Batsman of the whole tournament. With this win, Afghanistan now progresses to the U19 World Cup 2014.
 

May 10, 2013: Volleyball tournament ends in Wardak

By Sajid Hasan

According to a Taand Pashto News Agency (TPNA) report on Thursday, May 10, 2013, a volleyball tournament promoting the message of peace ended in Wardak province.  A total of 8 local volleyball teams participated in the tournament. The event took place in Narkh District of Wardak province. The final match was played between Karimdad and Kanghzat teams and Karmidad won by 3-2 rounds. In the final day of the tournament,  a large number spectators came to watch the match.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 8, 2013: Nangarhar wins Baba-e-Milat Cup

By Sajid Hasan

A 14-day inter-provincial cricket tournament named Etisalat Baba-e-Milat Cup (Etisalat Father of Nation Cup) among 12 teams from different provinces ended yesterday, May 7, 2013 in Kabul. According to Farid Hotak, a spokesman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, Nangarhar and Paktia qualified to the final. Hotak said that Nangarhar chose to bat first. They made 133 runs in 31 overs. Paktia did not reach the target, they only made 75 runs and lost all their wickets. Hotak said that the cricket board is trying to develop domestic cricket by having these types of tournaments.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 7, 2013: Back to back victories for Afghan U19 cricket team

Afghanistan defeated Thailand yesterday by 395 runs, and then Hong Kong today by 8 wickets in the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Elite 2013 cricket tournament, currently underway in Malaysia.

In yesterday's game against Thailand, Afghanistan won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They scored a whopping 421 runs in 50 overs. Thailand never reached the target and managed to only scrape up 26 runs. Afghanistan's Hashmatullah Sahidi was man of the match for scoring 153 runs.

In today's game, Hong Kong won the coin toss and chose to bat first. Hong Kong scored 90 runs, however, Afghanistan easily reached the target in the 20th over. Zahir Shehzad was man of the match for taking 4 wickets.

Afghanistan currently remains undefeated. They had defeated Saudi Arabia and the UAE in their first and second games of the tournament.
 

May 7, 2013: Football tournaments in Kabul and Herat; National Taekwondo team members selected

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's national football (soccer) federation announced yesterday that a football tournament sponsored by Roshan will start soon in Afghanistan's Kabul province. According to the football federation's spokesman, Murtaza Danish, players from different zones will take part in the tournament, and it is expected to start within 4 months.

Meanwhile in Herat province, a football tournament is currently underway among 6 local teams in honor of International Family Day. According to the provincial sports department, on the first day, the national security team defeated the media team 2-0.

In other sports, Afghanistan’s National Olympic Committee (ANOC) announced on Sunday, May 5, 2013 that 40 players have been selected for the national Taekwondo team. According to the ANOC, more than 900 youths from 23 provinces participated in the selection competition, which was held in Kabul. The competition took five days. Ten of these athletes will be then be selected for an upcoming Asian Taekwondo competition.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 5, 2013: Back to back wins for Afghan U19 cricket team; Saleh Mohammad becomes first Afghan Asian snooker champion

By Sajid Hasan

In their first game of the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) U-19 Elite 2013, Afghanistan defeated Saudi Arabia by 10 wickets in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday, May 3rd. Afghanistan's Shahidullah was awarded the man of the match for scoring 86 runs. Then on Saturday, the Afghan team defeated UAE (United Arab Emirates) by a whopping 161 runs. The coin toss was won by the UAE, but they chose to field first. Afghanistan scored 246 runs in 50 overs, losing 8 wickets. The UAE never reached the target; they only managed to get 85 runs in 31.2 overs, losing all wickets. Hashmatullah Shaidi was given the man of the match honors. He scored 92 runs (not out) and took 3 wickets.

In other news, on Friday, Saleh Mohammad beat Syria’s Omar al Kojah to become the first Afghan Asian snooker champion. The 29th edition of this Asian snooker championship was held in Karachi, Pakistan, and 14 countries participated in the competition.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

May 2, 2013: Sports gymnasium to be built in Ghazni

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported today that a sports gymnasium with the capacity for 1000 spectators will be constructed in Afghanistan's Ghazni province. Padshah Khan Hazhbar, a sports official from Ghazni told BNA that the gymnasium will be constructed on 2500 square meters of land, and it will funded from the development budget of the National Olympic Committee at a cost of $800,000. The project will take one year to complete. According to the BNA report, the foundation stone for the gymnasium was laid down by Ghazni's provincial governor. Sports officials as well as government officials attended a special ceremony held for this occasion.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

April 28, 2013: Kandahar to face Kabul in quarter final match; U19 cricket team off to Malaysia

By Sajid Hasan

In the ongoing 50 over inter-provincial Etisalat Baba-e- Milat Cup (Etisalat Father of Nation Cup) cricket tournament, Kandahar defeated Kapisa and therefore qualified to the quarter finals. According to the Kandahar Sports Department, Kapisa won the coin toss and selected to bat first. They made 302 runs in 50 overs;  Kandahar reached the target in 42 overs, losing 7 wickets. For Kandahar, Rahimullah made 132 runs (not out),  Delawar Khan made 60 runs, Naseem Khan made 31runs,  and Saadullah Kan made 30 runs. In bowling, Kandahar's  captain took 5 wickets and Saeedullah took 3 wickets. The main of the match award went to Rahimullah from Kandahar for his 132 runs. Kandahar will play in their quarter final match against Kabul.

In other sports news, according to the Taand Pashto News Agency (TPNA), Afghanistan's U19 cricket team has left for Malaysia to participate in the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) U-19 Elite 2013, scheduled to start on May 3rd. ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) Executive Director Dr. Noor Mohammad Murad told TPNA that they are optimistic that the Afghan team will do well and bring honor to the country. Afghanistan's U19 team did well in the same tournament held in 2011.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi
 

April 27, 2013: Farah wins football tournament in Helmand


Helmand's deputy governor, Masood Ahmad
Bakhtawor giving the winning trophy to Farah's captain
Photo by: Sajid Hasan

By Sajid Hasan

An eight-day friendly football (soccer) tournament among 5 provinces ended yesterday, April 26, 2014 in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand. The tournament which started 8 days ago, included teams from Helmand, Farah, Nimroz, Ghazni and Kandahar. Yesterday, in the final match, Farah defeated Helmand 3-2.  Numerous spectator watched the final match, including Helmand's deputy governor, Masood Ahmad Bakhtawor,  as well other top officials. In a ceremony held after the match, the deputy governor distributed prizes and praised the players for the achievements. The sports director of Helmand province,  Mohammad Idress Alizai, also congratulated Farah for their victory. Furthermore,  a local businessman gave $500 to the captains of the Farah and Helmand teams. Helmand's sports department also gave uniforms, and other gifts and trophies to winning teams and players.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 25, 2013: Results from Kabul's football tournament; Kandahar defeats Khost in cricket

By Sajid Hasan

The Best League Football (soccer) tournament is in progress among 14 local teams in Afghanistan’s Kabul province. Yesterday, April 24, 2013 four teams played against each other. According to the Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) Sabawoon defeated Khawar 2-1 and Ferozai defeated it rival 5-0. The tournament being held in the playground of the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee. The purpose of this tournament is to select the best players for the national football team.

In other sports news, in the 2nd day of the ongoing 14-day inter-provincial cricket tournament named Etisalat Baba-e- Milat Cup (Etisalat Father of Nation Cup), Kandahar played against Khost. According to the Kandahar Provincial Sports Directorate, Kandahar won the coin toss but let Khost to bat first. Khost made 201 runs in 48 overs. Kandahar reached the target and won the match. For the Kandahar team, Ata Jan scored 40 runs, Ahmad Jan scored 26, and Samiullah scored 22 runs.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 24, 2013: Best League football tournament to start in Herat; Ahmad Shahi playground will be reconstructed

By Sajid Hasan

A 15 day Best League football (soccer) tournament will start tomorrow, April 25, 2013 in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat. According to Ziaul Haq Zia, the deputy director of Herat's sport department, a total of 8 local teams (divided into 4 groups) will participate in the tournament. The tournament is being arranged to help condemn administrative corruption in Afghanistan. Zia said they are trying to raise awareness against corruption via sports.

In other sports news, according to Mohammadullah Gulaly, Kandahar's director of sports, the Ahmad Shahi playground will be reconstructed and artificial turf will be put in. The ground will be brought up to international standards, and improvements will be made on facilities for both players and fans. The work is to be started next month, and the project is being financially supported by the provincial sports department and the Kandahar municipality.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 23, 2013: Laghman vs. Kabul will be first match of Etisalat Baba-e Milat Cup

By Sajid Hasan

The first cricket match of the Etisalat Baba-e- Milat Cup (Etisalat Father of Nation Cup) will be played between Laghman and Kabul tomorrow, April 24, 2013 in Kabul, according to the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB). The Kabul team members are: Nawab Khan, Mahmood Shinwari, Momen Zadran, Merwais Zazy, Aimal Khan, Abdul Qadar Farmooly, Altaf Kha, Anaam Kha, Karim Khan, Rafiullah, Mohammad Shakir, Mojtaba, Abdul Wahab, Bismillah, Mojib Oria Khail and Mohammad Rafi. The Laghman team members are: Shfiqullah Shafiq, Qasim Khan, Noorul Haq, Fazal Hadi Ahmad Zia , Mohammad Wali, Turyaly, Faheem Nasari, Mohammad Farhad, Murtaza, Matiullah, Amir Ali, Mohammad Nasir and Pameer.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 22, 2013: Football tournaments in Kabul and Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

A one month long 12 over cricket tournament started yesterday, April 21, 2013 in Nangarhar between 10 teams consisting of film stars (actors), and one team made up from the Independent Journalists Association team.. According to a press release from Nangarhar province, the tournament is being held in the Serajul Ammarat playground. According to Qarar Azizi, the eastern zone cricket board manager, this tournament is being held to promote the message of peace. The first match was of the tournament ended in a draw because of rain.

In other sports news, a football (soccer) tournament is currently in progress in Afghanistan's Helmand province. According to the provincial sports department, yesterday, April 21, 2013 Kandahar defeated Nimroz 3-2 and and Farah defeated Helmand 3-0. The game was attended by the head of Helmand's provincial police, Abdul Nabi Alham, as well as other top level government officials. Alham said that such tournaments will help to increase cooperation and improve relations between the people and the players. He stressed the importance of youth participating in sports and avoiding bad habits. Mohammad Adress Alizi, who is the director of the sports department also appreciated the efforts of the players.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 21, 2013: Football tournaments in Kabul and Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

Two matches were played yesterday, April 20, 2013 in the Kabul Best League football (soccer) tournament. The tournament involves 14 football teams divided into two
groups. According to sports official Abdul Baseer Qayyoumi, National Army defeated Setarah Azad 2-1, and Big Bear defeated Red Crescent 1-0. The purpose of this tournament is to select the best players for national football team.

There is also another football tournament currently in progress in Helmand. The tournament involves teams from 5 provinces. According to Helmand's sports federation, a team from Farah, Nimroz, Ghazni, Kandahar, and three teams from Helmand are participating in the tournament. The tournament is being funded by local traders.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 21, 2013: American women cyclist in Kabul: Afghan beach footballer signs with Brazilian team

By Sajid Hasan

Six American women cyclists arrived yesterday, April 20, 2013 in Kabul to meet with and help train Afghan women cyclists, according to the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee's Cycling Federation. The Americans are expected to stay in Kabul for 15 days. Mohammad Saqid Sadiq, chief of the women's cyclist federation said in last year's cycle race in India, the Afghan women cyclists got the attention of the international community. The American were impressed by them and therefore offered to train the Afghan women.

In other sports news, according to a recent Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) report, Afghan beach footballer Hazrat Gul Baran has been signed on to play with a Brazilian beach football club in São Paulo. Baran was one of the Afghan Costal football team members who participated in the international beach football tournament held in Qatar last year.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 20, 2013: Afghan U19 team defeats Pakistan's Malik Academy in cricket

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's U19 cricket team is currently in Pakistan playing against local Pakistani clubs in preparation for an upcoming Asian cricket competition.

 According to the Taand Pashto News Agency (TPNA), today, in Peshawar's Arbab Niaz stadium, the Afghan U19 team defeated the Malik Cricket Academy in their third match. Malik Academy won the coin toss and decided to bat first. In this 50 over match, they made 112 runs in 23 overs, losing all their wickets. Malik Academy's Shafiqullah scored 36 runs, and Adnan made 30 runs.  Javid and Zargi from Afghanistan each took 3 wickets.

When their turn at bat came up, the Afghan team easily reached the target, and lost only 3 wickets. Afghanistan's Khyber Khan made 45 runs, Naseer Jamal made 28 runs and Javid made 30 runs. After the match, Fayaz Shah, the Peshawar Cricket Association's president handed out awards and gifts to the payers. Khyber Khan won the honor of the best batsman, Zahir Shah won the honor of the best bowler, and Javid was given the man of the match honors.

The Afghanistan Cricket board also gave a badge to Malik Farman, the Malik Academy's executive director. The manager of the Afghan U19 team, Sher Agha also warmly thanked the Malik Academy for inviting the Afghan players to Pakistan.

.-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 18, 2013: Etisalat Baba-e- Milat Cup to start on April 24th; ICC allocates $422,000 for ACB

By Sajid Hasan

According to the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), a 14-day inter-provincial cricket tournament named Etisalat Baba-e- Milat Cup (Etisalat Father of Nation Cup) will start on April 24, 2013 in Afghanistan. The 50 over cricket tournament will start in Kabul on April 24, 2013, and the other matches will be played in Nangarhar province. The semi-finals and the final match will take place in Kabul's International Playground. Twelve teams from different provinces are expected to participate. The teams will be divided into four groups. The ANCB considers these types of domestic cricket matches very important for the development of cricket in Afghanistan.

In other cricket news, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has allocated $422,000 for the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) from the its Targeted Assistance and Performance Program (TAPP). The funds will be used towards the development of the National Cricket Academy in Kabul, and is subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions. According to the ICC, the TAPP fund was put together to help develop more competitive teams by targeting the lower ranked full members and higher ranked associate/ affiliate members for assistance.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 16, 2013: Afghan U19 team defeats local Pakistani team; Afghanistan to participate in ECO tournament

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's U19 cricket team is currently in Pakistan playing against local Pakistani teams to prepare themselves for an upcoming Asian tournament. Yesterday, they played a match against the Malik Cricket Club in Peshahwar's Arbab Niaz Stadium. According to Sher Agha Hamkar, the Manager of the Afghan team, Malik won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They made 253 runs in 49 overs, losing their 9 wickets. Hamkar said that the Afghan team reached the target in the 40th over without losing any wickets. From the Afghan team, Shahid made 100 runs and Rahim Mangal made 58 runs.

In other sports news, the Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported yesterday that a delegation consisting of officials, including the head of Afghanistan's National Olympic Committee, Mohammad Zaher Aghbar, as well as 40 athletes (both male and female) have left for Turkey to participate in an Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) sports tournament. According to the BNA report, the tournament is being held to fulfill an agreement that was made that member countries need to increase economic and cultural activities amongst one another. The event is scheduled for 5 days in Turkey's Qabras City. Besides Afghanistan, delegates from Turkey, Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Kazakhstan are attending.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 15, 2013: Afghan U19 in Pakistan for practice matches; Disabled sports gymnasium to be built in Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's U19 cricket team is currently in Pakistan to prepare themselves for the upcoming Asian Elite Cup. On Monday, April 15, 2013 the Taand Pashto News Agency (TPNA) reported that the Afghan team has recently defeated two different Pakistani local teams (Mardan and Sawabi). The matches were held in Peshawar. Against Mardan, the Afghan team batted first;  they made 215 runs in 50 overs, losing 9 wickets. Mardan never reached the target and lost all wickets in the 45th over. They only managed to score 190 runs. Hashmat Shahidi made 33 runs, Nasir Jamal made 25 runs and Muslim added 20 runs for the Afghan team. In the other match, Sawabi batted first and made 150 runs in 40 overs. Afghanistan reached the target in the 40th over, losing 5 wickets. Waheed made 27 runs and Shahid made 25 runs for Afghanistan. So far, the Afghan U19 team has won 9 practice and friendly matches played against different local Pakistani teams.

In other sports news, Afghanistan's National Olympic Committee (ANOC) announced yesterday that they will build a sports gymnasium for disabled athletes in Kabul. The director of the ANOC, Mohammad Zaher Aghbar made the announcement during an exhibition ceremony held for disabled athletes. Aghbar also expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the athletes. Sixty-three disabled athletes participated in the exhibition.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 13, 2013: Afghan refugees beat Pakistani cricket team; Boxing competition to start in Kandahar tomorrow

By Sajid Hasan

A one-day 30 over friendly cricket match was played yesterday, April 12, 2013 between an Afghan refugees 19 year old cricket team and the Pashtoon Eagle cricket team from Pakistan’s Peshawar city. According to the Taand Pashto News Agency (TPNA), Pashtoon Eagle selected to bat first. They made 141 runs in 30 overs. The Afghan team reached the target in the 20th over, and thus won the match. The top scorers for the Afghan refugees team were Sediq with 62 runs and Zakir Akrami with 44 runs.

In other sports news, Ahmadullah Gulaly, Kandahar's director of sports told Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) today that a  boxing competition will start tomorrow, April 14, 2013 in Kandahar province to select the best players for an upcoming national boxing competition. A total of 70 boxers will take part in the competition and from these 70, 11 will be selected for the elected team.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 11, 2013: Cricket tournament ends in Nangarhar; Boxing federation officials elected

By Sajid Hasan

Construction work on a playground started yesterday,  April 10, 2013 in Afghanistan’s Daykundi province. According to a report from the Daykundi provincial sports department,  the project is being funded by the Anti-Narcotics Ministry at a cost of $1,200,000 US . This will be the first standard playground in Nili, the capital of Daykundi province. It is expected to be completed in one year. Daykundi is one of the least developed provinces in Afghanistan.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 10, 2013: Cricket tournament ends in Nangarhar; Boxing federation officials elected

By Sajid Hasan

A 4-day 20 over cricket tournament ended yesterday, April 9, 2013 in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. According to the Nangarhar cricket department, a total of 10 cricket teams from around the province participated in the tournament. This tournament was financially sponsored by an Afghan trader Hajji Umar Arrab in order to further develop the cricket skills of the players and to motivate them. The final match of the tournament was played between the Ahmadzai Cricket Club and the Araab Lainz Cricket Club. Araab selected to bat first; they made 104 runs in 20 overs. Ahmadzai reached the target in the 11th, thus winning the match and the tournament. A large audience was in attendance for the match.

In other sports news, Afghanistan's Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported today that the President and Secretary General for Afghanistan's Boxing Federation has been chosen in a special election held today at the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee (ANOC) headquarters in the presence of ANOC chief and sports officials from 15 different Afghanistan provinces. Dad Mohammad Painda Akhtari who received 21 votes was elected as President of the boxing federation for the third time, and Hedayatullah Mohmand was re-elected as Secretary General.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 9, 2013: Gymnasium to be reconstructed sooner in Wardak province

By Sajid Hasan

Reconstructing work on a gymnasium will start sooner than planned in Afghanistan’s Maidan Wardak province. According to a provincial press release, Wardak's deputy governor, Zaker Husain Sultani made the announcement during a special event held to celebrate the achievement of Wardak's athletes. Athletes from such sports as boxing, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Karate, volleyball, and cricket were present. The athletes received appreciation certificates and gifts from the governor and the provincial sports department. Sultani said that a total of $650,000 will be spent on the gymnasium and it will be equipped with modern facilities. The press release also noted that many of the sports federation managers appreciated the decision to reconstruct the gymnasium.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 8, 2013: Football tournament to start in Kabul; Cricket tournament starts between schools in Nangarhar

By Sajid Hasan

A 5-day Best League football (soccer) tournament will soon start in Kabul, according to Abdul Baseer Qayyoumi, an official from Afghanistan's Football Federation (AFF). Qayyoumi said that a total of 14 local football teams from Kabul city will participate in the tournament. The teams will be divided into two groups. The tournament will be held to mark Afghanistan's Islamic Revolution day.

In other sports news, a 12 over cricket tournament started today, April 8, 2013 in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province among 14 school teams. According to the provincial cricket board, the tournament is being held in the Rodad District of Nangarhar province and will take at least 15 days. The aim of this tournament is improve harmony and coordination between school students and to further develop the sport of cricket in the district. The first match was held between Shaheed Mohammad Asharaf High School and Abdul Rahman Pajhwok High School. Pajhwok selected to bat first, they made 70 runs in 12 overs, losing all their wickets. Ashraf won the match, they reached the target in 7 overs, losing 3 wickets.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 7, 2013: Nangarhar's Ghazi Amanullah Khan Playgound to be reconstructed

By Sajid Hasan

The Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Playground  in Afghanistan’s province of Nangarhar province will be reconstructed. The reconstruction agreement was signed yesterday, April 6, 2013 between the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and the Najib Zarab Company. The contract between both sides was signed in the ACB's Kabul office. ACB Executive Board Director, Dr. Noor Mohammad Murad said that a total of $870,000 will be spent on the reconstruction of the playground. From this amount, $ 500,000 will be paid by the ACB. Murad said that they will make the playground into a modern facility.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 5, 2013: Nangarhar wins zone tournament and disabled cricket tournament

By Sajid Hasan

A 20 over cricket tournament between teams from 6 different zones of Afghanistan ended today April 5, 2013 in Nangarhar province. According to Nangarhar's provincial cricket board, Nangarhar defeated Wardak in the final match. Wardark chose to bat first, they made 34 runs in 20 overs, losing 9 wickets. Nangarhar reached the target in the 19 over, losing 5 wickets. The man of the match award went to Saboor from Nangarahar province for scoring 80 runs for his team. The man of the series award was given to Merwais from Wardak. Top level government officials and many cricket fans were in attendance for the final match.

In other cricket news, Nangarhar defeated Laghman on April 3, 2013 to win the disabled cricket tournament in Nangarhar province. According to a press release from the Nangarhar province cricket board, the event was held at the Serajul Amaarat playground. In the final match, Nangarhar batted first. They made 172 runs in 20 overs. Laghman only made 162 runs in 20 overs. The purpose of the event was to develop the skills of the disabled cricket players. On the final day, gifts were also distributed to the winning team.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 4, 2013: Nangarhar in final of LSTO organized zone cricket tournament

By Sajid Hasan

A 20 over cricket tournament between 6 teams from different zones in Afghanistan is currently underway in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar. The tournament is being arranged by the Loba Sports Training Organization (LSTO). According to a cricket official from Nangarhar province, the following teams are participating: Nangarhar, Kabul, Wardak, Kunduz, Baghlan and Kandahar. On April 3rd, Nangarhar played against Kunduz. Nangarhar made 146 runs in 20 overs, losing their 7 wickets. Kunduz only made 98 runs in 19 overs, losing all their wickets. Another match will be played between Baghlan and Wardak, and the winner of that match will play against Nangarhar in the final match.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

April 3, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Nepal to win ACC Twenty20 Cup

Today, Afghanistan defeated host country Nepal in the final match of the 2013 ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Twenty20 Cup by 7 wickets to win the tournament for the fourth time. Afghanistan won the coin toss, and chose to field. Nepal went to bat first, but they were kept at 135 runs, thanks to outstanding bowling from the Afghan side. When it was their turn at bat, Afghanistan easily reached the target with 7 wickets remaining. Gulbadin Naib was chosen as the player of the match for scoring 43 runs (not out) in the game.
 

April 2, 2013: Afghanistan to face off against Nepal in final of ACC Twenty20 Cup

Afghanistan defeated Hong Kong today by 7 wickets in a semifinal match of the ACC Twenty20 Cup currently in progress in Nepal. Afghanistan won the coin toss and chose to field first. Afghanistan kept Hong Kong at 109 runs, and they reached the target in the 18th over with 7 wickets remaining. Afghanistan's Hamza Hotak was chosen as player of the match for taking 3 wickets. With this win, Afghanistan now progresses to the final. They will face off against Nepal since today in the other semifinal match, they defeated the United Arab Emirates by 6 wickets.
 

March 31, 2013: Afghanistan in semis of ACC Twenty20 Cup

After losing to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday by 6 wickets, Afghanistan came back strong today and defeated Kuwait by 4 wickets to place themselves in the semifinals of the ACC Twenty20 Cup currently in progress in Nepal.

Afghanistan won the coin toss, but chose to field and let Kuwait bat first. Kuwait scored 133 runs. Afghanistan reached the target in the 20th over with 4 wickets remaining. Samiullah Shenwar was awarded as the player of the match.

Next, on April 2nd, Afghanistan will take on Hong Kong in the first semifinal match and Nepal will go up against the United Arab Emirates. The final match of tournament is scheduled for April 3rd. The top two teams from this tournament will progress to the World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE (November 2013). Since Afghanistan is an ODI nation, it is already in the World Twenty20 Qualifer.

March 29, 2013: Wardak football tournament concludes

By Sajid Hasan

A one week long football (soccer) tournament concluded yesterday, March 28, 2013 in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province. According to Wardak's sport department, the tournament took place in the Sayyad Abad district of Wardak province between 24 teams from around the province. A sports department report said that Pakmir Wordak and Salar reached the final match of tournament. Pakmir Wordak defeated Salar 3-2 and won the tournament. The final match of the tournament was watched by top district and sports officials of the province, as well as a  large number of regular people.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 28, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Bahrain for second win in ACC Twenty20 Cup

Afghanistan defeated Bahrain today at Nepal's Pulchowk Engineering Campus Ground (Lalitpurto) to obtain their second consecutive win in the Group B matches of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Twenty20 Cup. In their first match, which was on Tuesday, Afghanistan defeated Oman by 44 runs. In today's match, Bahrain won the coin toss, but chose to field first. Afghanistan scored 157 runs in 20 overs, losing 5 wickets. Gulbadin Naib scored an outstanding 46 runs, followed by Najibullah Zadran with 45 (not out). Bahrain was unable to reach the target, they were kept at 85 runs in 15.5 overs. Afghanistan ended up winning by 72 runs. Naib was awarded the man of the match honors for his performance.

Next, Afghanistan will go up against the UAE on Saturday, March 30th, followed by Kuwait on Sunday, March 31st. Afghanistan is in Group B of the tournament, alongside UAE, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain. The Group A teams are Nepal, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Maldives, Malaysia, and Singapore. The finalists of this tournament will move on to the World T-20 Cricket Championship, scheduled to be held in the UAE in November.

March 28, 2013: Cricket field to be built in Wardak province; Sharali defeated Azad in Helmand's local cricket tournament

By Sajid Hasan

The provincial governor of Wardak province, Abdul Majid Khugyani has committed to the local cricket officials in the province to building a modern cricket ground in Wardak province. A representative from the Wardak cricket board, Mohammad Nasir, told the Taand Pashto News Agency that they met with the governor and informed him about the Wardak province elected cricket team's latest achievements and challenges that they are forced to face. Nasir said that the governor promised him that he will play his role in getting a modern cricket ground constructed in the province. The governor also distributed appreciation certificates to some Wardak cricket officials, and he also gave uniforms to the local cricket players.

In other sports news, in the 50 over spring cricket tournament currently underway in Helmand province, Sharali defeated Azad yesterday. The tournament actually started a week ago between local cricket teams in Helmand province to further develop the game of cricket in the province. According to the provincial cricket board manager, Mohammad Tahir Abshar, Sharwali won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They made 210 runs in 45 overs, losing all their wickets. Azad did not play well, as they only made 156 runs in 34 overs, losing all their wickets. Mohammad Younus from Sharwali was chosen as the man of the match for scoring 98 runs for his team and taking 2 wickets.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 26, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Oman in ACC Twenty20 Cup match

Today at the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground, Afghanistan defeated Oman by 44 runs in their first Group B game of the Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Cup. Afghanistan won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They scored 150 runs in 18.5 overs. The top scorer for the Afghan team was Karim Sadiq who scored 46, followed by captain Mohammad Nabi with 32. Oman failed to reach the target, and only scored 106 runs in 19.1 overs - thanks to outstanding bowling from Nabi. His performance in the game got him the man of the match honors.

Next, Afghanistan will go up against Bahrain on Thursday, March 28th. Afghanistan is in Group B of the tournament, alongside UAE, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain. The Group A teams are Nepal, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Maldives, Malaysia, and Singapore. The finalists of this tournament will move on to the World T-20 Cricket Championship, scheduled to be held in the UAE in November.

March 26, 2013: Kunar cricket team to play Pakistani teams

By Sajid Hasan

The elected cricket team from Afghanistan's eastern province of Kunar will go to Pakistan soon in order to play a handful of 50 over matches in Pakistan with different local clubs. According to a press release from the eastern zone cricket board, the matches will start in April. First, they will play in Islamabad, then in Karachi, followed by Peshawar. Next they will go up against the Mardaan cricket club and finally the Malik sports team. The purpose of this trip is to help prepare the Kunari team for the upcoming Grade A provincial tournament.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 25, 2013: Afghan U-19 team defeats local Pakistani team

By Sajid Hasan

The U-19 Afghan cricket team defeated a local Pakistani team (Khiaban) in a one-day friendly match in Pakistan's Lahore city. The Afghan team is currently in Pakistan preparing for the upcoming ACC U-19 Asian Elite tournament. According to a Taand Pashto News Agency (TPNA) report on March 23, 2013, in the match, the Afghan team batted first. They made 268 runs in 50 overs, losing 7 wickets. The Pakistani team only made 179 runs, losing all their wickets. From the Afghan team, Mohammad Younus made 79 runs, Naser Jamal 57, Farid Malik 32 and Muslim made 22 runs.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 24, 2013: Herat Wins Zone Football Tournament; Kunar Team Wins Ahmadzai Cricket Jam

By Sajid Hasan

The zone football (soccer) tournament between teams from different zones of Afghanistan has ended in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar. The tournament had started around 15 days ago in Kandahar province. According to a press release from the Kandahar Governor's Office, Herat and Jowzjan made it to the final match, and Herat won. The governor of the Kandahar province was at the event and distributed gifts to the winning team.

In other sports news, the month long Ahmadzai Cricket Jam ended on Friday, March 22nd in Nangarhar province. A total of 32 cricket teams participated in the jam. The jam was financially supported by Hajji Ahmad Wali Ahmadzai, a resident of Nangarhar province. The final match of the jam was played between teams from Kunar and Nangarhar. According to a cricket official from Nangarhar province, the coin toss was won by Kunar. They made 129 runs in 20 overs, losing all their wickets. Nangarhar only scored 108 runs in 18 overs, losing all their wickets. The man of the match award went to Adnan Kunari who scored the highest runs for his team. The man of the series award was given to Mohammad Naseer, the captain of the Nangarhar team.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 22, 2013: Khost disabled sports federation; ACB and PCB sign MU

By Sajid Hasan

The Disabled Sports Federation of Khost province, which was first organized in Mid March 2013 is registered with Afghanistan's National Olympic Committee and is currently very active in Khost province. While the federation is heavily involved primarily with cricket, they said that they will soon organize other different types of sporting events for the disabled athletes in Khost province to participate in. Currently, the Khost disabled cricket team has 20 players and are supported by the National Olympic Committee. The federation's manager, Rahimullah Gurbez said that he will do his best to solve issues affecting the disabled athletes in the province.

In other news, Pakistan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MU) with Afghanistan to provide technical and professional help to Afghanistan's cricket staff and players. According to the Taand Pashto News Agency (TPNA) the MU was signed on Friday, between the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). According to the PCB, the assistance involves game education, coaching courses, skill and performance analysis, basic umpiring, groundsman courses, as well as development programs for players at the Pakistan national cricket academy in Lahore. PCB chief  Subhanullah Ahmad stressed that they support cricket in Afghanistan. ACB chief Noor Mohammad Muraad expressed his appreciation to the PCB.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 21, 2013: Pak-Afghan Peace team victorious; Final match of Ahmadzai cricket tournament to be held on Friday.

By Sajid Hasan

The Pak-Afghan Peace 16 year old cricket team defeated the Ansaf Cricket Club today in Peshawar, Pakistan in a 50 overs cricket match. The Pak-Afghan Peace team was created by the Afghan Refugees Sports Association in Pakistan. The team includes 14 players - 7 Afghans and 7 Pakistanis. According to the Taand Pashto News Agency, Pak-Afghan Peace chose to bat first. They made 212 runs in 35 overs, losing 9 wickets. The Ansaf Cricket Club only made 175 runs in 30 overs, losing all their wickets. The captain of the Pak-Afghan Peace team, Zakirullah Akrami, who is an Afghan,  made 76 runs, and was named as the man of the match. At the end of the match, Azat Khan Lodin, the Director of the Afghan Refugees Sports Association said that the team has a bright future in cricket. He also distributed gifts to the players of the winning team.

In other cricket news, the final match of the Ahmadzai cricket tournament will be played on Friday, March 22, 2013 in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. The tournament, which is being financed by a local resident, Hazrat Wali, had started around a month ago and the matches were held in the Serajul Ammarat Playground. According to the local cricket board, 32 teams from Nangarhar, Kunar, Laghman, Nuristan, Paktya, and Kabul provinces participated in the tournament. Kunar Adil Shah will take on Sabawoon Ahmadzai in the final match.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 19, 2013: 5 Afghans attend special cricket training

By Sajid Hasan

Five people from Afghanistan have participated in a second level cricket coaching training course in Pakistan. The training was arranged by the International Cricket Council (ICC). According to the Afghanistan Cricket Board Executive Director, Dr. Noor Mohammad Muraad, only one person was called by the ICC from Afghanistan but he said that they asked the ICC if they can send 5 people. The one week training was recently held in Pakistan's Lahore City. The Afghanistan Cricket Board said that the following people from Afghanistan attended: Raess Ahmadzai, Bacha Husain, Mojahid Zadran, Javid Wordak and Diana Barakzai. Dr. Muraad said that such trainings are very useful for Afghans, because they learn new cricket tactics.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 18, 2013: Swimming and Gymnastics competitions in Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

A swimming competition between disabled athletes started today, March 18, 2013 in Kabul. According to the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee, the competition is between 10 swimmers from around Kabul province. The competition is being held in the Karta-e se swimming pool. The event is being held to help improve the swimmers' skills.

In other sports news, a 3-day gymnastic competition to choose the best gymnast for the national gymnastics team started yesterday, March 17th, in Kabul, according to the Bakhtar News Agency (BNA). According to the BNA report, 12 clubs, and 40 players (both male and female) are participating in the competition.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 17, 2013: Latest football zone tournament results

By Sajid Hasan

A football (soccer) tournament is currently in progress between 8 teams representing different zones in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar. According to the Kandahar Football Federation, today (March 17, 2013) Helmand played against Jowzjan and Herat played against Panjsher. The Helmand and Jowzjan game ended scoreless, and Herat defeated Panjsher 8-0. Also, yesterday, Kandahar defeated Nangarhar 2-0 and Khost defeated Badakhshan 2-0.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 16, 2013: ANCT returns home; U-19 team in Lahore

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's National Cricket Team (ANCT) returned home today, March 16, 2013 after playing matches in the United Arabic Emirates against Scotland. They beat Scotland four times in both 20 and 50 overs matches. Afghanistan is currently in second place in the ongoing ICC Intercontinental Cup. When the team landed at Kabul International Airport, they were warmly welcomed by fans and officials, including the Afghanistan Cricket Board General Director, Shahzada Masood.

In other cricket news, the Taand News Agency reported that Afghanistan's under 19 cricket team is in Lahore, Pakistan preparing for the upcoming ACC U-19 Elite tournament, scheduled to start on May 3, 2013 in Malaysia. A total of 21 players are in Pakistan training in the Ameen Colony Cricket Academy. The manager of the team, Sher Agha Hamkar told the Taand News Agency that the team will play 10 practice matches with different local teams in Lahore. He said that from the 21 players, 14 will be selected to play in the ACC U-19 Elite tournament. Besides Afghanistan, Nepal, Qatar, Hong Kong, UAE, Bahrain, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait will be participating in the tournament.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 14, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Scotland in cricket; Afghanistan rises in FIFA rankings

Today in Abu Dhabi in a 4-day ICC Intercontinental Cup match, Afghanistan defeated Scotland by an innings and 5 runs. The player of the match honors went to Afghanistan's Izatullah Dawlatzai whose 11 wicket haul help ensure a victory for the Afghans. With this win, Afghanistan picks up an additional 20 points for total so far of 64, and moves into second place behind Ireland (67) in the overall rankings. Scotland falls to third place with a total so far of 46 points.

In football (soccer) news, because of their victories in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifying matches, Afghanistan's FIFA ranking has been elevated, according to a report today from the Associated Press. Afghanistan rises to its highest place, up 48 spots to 141st place. Spain is still ranked number one.

March 14, 2013: ANCT to compete in ACC Twenty20 Cup

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan’s National Cricket Team (ANCT) will participate in the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Twenty20 Cup, scheduled to start on March 26 and end on April 3, 2013 in Nepal. The teams are divided into 2 groups. Afghanistan is in group B with UAE, Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain. Group A consists of Nepal, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Maldives, and Singapore. According to the Afghanistan Cricket Board, the Afghan team members are: Mohammad Nabi (Captain) Karim Sadiq (Deputy Captain), Shapoor Zadran, Naseem Barias, Najibullah Zadran, Fazal, Niazy, Gulbadeen Nayab, Samiullah Shinwary, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Dawlat Zadran, Mohammad Sami Agha, Aftab Alam, and Hamzah Hotak.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 13, 2013: Football zone tournament results; Reconstruction work on Herat gymnasium completed

By Sajid Hasan

The football (soccer) zone tournament is currently underway in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar. The tournament is between 8 teams from different geographical zones. According to the Kandahar Sports Directorate, the first match was between Jowzjan and Herat. Jowzjan defeated Herat 1-0. In the second match, Helmand went up against Kabul and Helmand won 1-0.

In other sports news, reconstruction work on the Meerwais Sadiq Sports Gymnasium in Herat province has been completed, and an inauguration ceremony was held yesterday to mark the occasion. A large number of people, including government officials attended the ceremony. According to a Herat sports official, the reconstruction was funded by the Herat Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), the provincial governor's office and the provincial assembly. A total of $70,000 was spent on the project. The gymnasium which was originally built 4 years ago, has the capacity for 3,000 people.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 12, 2013: Women's football tournament concludes in Kabul; football jam in Herat underway

By Sajid Hasan

A women’s football (soccer) tournament ended yesterday, March 11, 2013 in Kabul. The tournament had started a few days ago in Kabul's Shamshad Zone playground between 5 local women's teams from around Kabul province to mark International Women's Day. According to Afghanistan’s National Sports Union (ANSU), the teams from Rabbani Educational University and Shamshad Zone A qualified to the final match of the tournament. ANSU added that the team from Rabbani Educational University defeated the team from Shamshad Zone A 2-1. On the final day of tournament, gifts which were prepared by ANSU,  were distributed to the winners.

In other sports news, a football (soccer) jam is currently underway in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat. According to Herat province's sports directorate, the jam, which will last at least one month, had started on Saturday, March 9, 2013 among 24 local teams from around the province. The goal of the jam is to further develop the skills of the local football players. On the first day of the event, Jami defeated Umaid 2-0.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 10, 2013: Zones football (soccer) tournament to start in Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

A football (soccer) tournament between teams representing Afghanistan's different geographical zones will start tomorrow, March 11, 2013 in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul. According to the Afghanistan Football Federation, 8 teams (Jowzjan, Badakhshan, Panjshir, Khost, Herat, Nangarhar, Helmand, Kandahar) from different zones, and one team from Kabul  will participate in the tournament. The federation said that the tournament will take 12 days. The winner the tournament will be declared the best team of the 1391 solar year.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 9, 2013: Women's basketball competition concludes; cricket ground is being reconstructed

By Sajid Hasan

A women’s basketball competition came to a conclusion today, March 9, 2013 in Kabul. The competition had started a few days ago in Kabul between eight local women's teams to mark International Women's Day. According to an Afghanistan National Olympic Committee report, teams Red Crescent and Sangar qualified to the final, and Red Crescent won. The Education team came in third position.

In other sports news, reconstruction on a cricket ground in Kunar province's Sarkani district started on Thursday, March 7th. According to the Kunar Cricket Federation, the ground's four walls and metal pins are all badly damaged. The ground is 100 km by  80 km. It will take four months before the work is completed and the ground is handed over to the cricket players. During the opening ceremony held to mark the beginning of the reconstruction work, the district governor, Mohammad Haneef Khair Khwah, expressed his gratitude and  happiness that the ground is being reconstructed, thanks to the Community Cohesion Initiative (CCI), which is funded by the US government.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 8, 2013: Football tournament underway in Helmand; Buzkashi competition concludes in Panjshir

By Sajid Hasan

A one week long football (soccer) tournament started yesterday, March 7, 2013 in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand. According to the Helmand Province Sports Directorate, 3 police teams, and 3 public are participating. The tournament will take at least one week. The sports directorate also said that the purpose of this tournament is to enhance the relationship between the public and police. A large number of people, including government officials were in attendance when the tournament was officially kicked off.

In other sports news, Afghanistan's Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) recently reported that a Buzkashi competition in Panjshir province amongst 100 different players from 3 different districts came to a conclusion. First place went to Supaid Chaher, followed by Shotul and third place went to Khenj. Buzkashi is very popular in northern Afghanistan.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 7, 2013: Afghanistan qualifies for AFC Challenge Cup finals

The AFC Challenge Cup 2014 qualifier match between Afghanistan and Laos ended in a 1-1 draw yesterday at Laos National Stadium . The first goal of the match was scored by Laos' Khampheng Sayavutthi, however, Afghanistan responded with a goal of their own in the 58th minute, thanks to striker Sandjar Mohammad Ahmadi.

Even though the match ended in a draw, Afghanistan ended up on top of Group C with 7 points, and will now proceed to the AFC Challenge Cup finals. Laos ended in second place with 5 points, followed by Sri Lanka with 3 points, and Mongolia in last place with only 1 point. Palestine, Myanmar, and host country Maldives will join Afghanistan in the finals.

March 6, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Scotland by 7 wickets in ICC WCL match

Afghanistan defeated Scotland today at Sharjah Stadium (United Arab Emirates) by 7 wickets in the ICC World Cricket League championship match. Scotland won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They went 199 for 8. Afghanistan replied with 203 for 3. The big scorer for Afghanistan was Nawroz Mangal who scored an unbeaten 112. This earned him Player of the Match honors. Samiullah Shenwari also scored 55 runs (not out) for the team.

March 6, 2013: Badminton competition ends; KKBCT to participate in DPL tournament

By Sajid Hasan

A badminton competition which had started in Kabul last week between 8 local teams ended recently with the team from Shamshad Zone being declared the winner, according to the Badminton Federation. Second place went to the badminton team from Mekroyan, and third place to Karte se. In the competition, around 100 players participated from different areas of Kabul province. According to a Badminton Federation report, badminton is currently mostly played in Kabul and it is not widely known in other provinces of the Afghanistan. Also, according to the federation, there are currently 100 female badminton players in Afghanistan.

In other sports news, the Kabul-Kunduz Bazan Cricket Team (KKBCT) will once again travel to Dubai to participate in the DPL cricket tournament. This team will represent Afghanistan in the tournament, which is scheduled to start on March 10th. While there, the team is expected to participate in some friendly matches as well.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 4, 2013: Afghanistan defeats Mongolia in football 1-0; Afghanistan defeats Scotland in cricket series; Bahadurzada loses 2nd fight in UFC

Afghan footballer Bilal Arezo ensured a second victory for Afghanistan in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers in Laos as he scored the only goal of the game against Mongolia. Arezo's single goal won the game for the Afghans against Sri Lanka on Saturday as well. Next, the Afghan team will face off against host country Laos on Wednesday; kick off is 4:30 pm Kabul time.

Afghanistan beat Scotland by 27 runs yesterday in the first match of the Twenty20 International Series at Sharjah Cricket Stadium (United Arab Emirates). Afghanistan batted first and went 132 for 7. Scotland did not reach the target and posted only 105 for 6 in reply. Mohammad Shahzad who scored 55 runs for the team was chosen as the player of the match. In the second match played today, Afghanistan once again defeated Scotland, this time by 7 wickets. Scotland batted first and scored 139 runs in 20 overs. Afghanistan scored 140 runs in 17.3 overs. The highest runs on the Afghan side came again from Mohammad Shahzad who scored 46. This earned him the player of the match honors again.

Fans were disappointed to see Afghan mixed martial arts fighter Siyar Bahadurzada lose his second UFC match via Unanimous Decision to Dong Hyun Kim on UFC on Fuel TV 8 on Saturday, March 2nd, in Japan, especially after a spectacular first match in the UFC where he knocked out his opponent in the first round. In each round of Saturday's match, Kim took Bahadurzada to the ground and keep pounding him; Bahadurzada was unable to shake him off to get back on his feet. Clearly, Bahadurzada will have to work on his grabbling skills if he wants to take on fighters like Kim.

March 4, 2013: Women's basketball tournament starts; Karate team in Iran

By Sajid Hasan

A three day women's basketball competition started today, March 4, 2013 in Kabul. According to the Women's Basketball Federation, the competition is being held to mark the upcoming International Women's Day. The federation said that 8 independent women's teams from around Kabul province are participating in the competition. The teams are Education, Red Crescent, Kabul Municipality, Sangar, Awhaat, Afghan Club, Wahdat, and Sadaf.

In other sports news, Afghanistan’s National Karate team left for Iran yesterday, March 3, 2013 to participate in the Dashtokan National Karate Competition. According to the National Karate Federation Manager, Ghulam Jainlani Ghuroob, the competition involves 3 categories and will start on March 6th.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 3, 2013: Marjah defeated Hewad in volleyball; Afghan skiers win

By Sajid Hasan

A one day local volleyball match was held yesterday, March 2, 2013 in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand. According to the Helmand sports department, the match was played between Hewad and Marjah to enhance the relationship between the teams’ players. According to the Helmand sports department, a large number people including government official came to see the match. In the end, Marjah defeated Hewad by 2 rounds.

In other sports news, Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) reported yesterday that Afghan skiers have won a skiing competition in Bamiyan province. Skiers from the United States, Britain, Australia, France, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, and Afghan skiers from Bamiyan, Kabul and Balkh participated in the event which was held at Koh-e Baba. The Afghan winners were Mohammad Sajjad, Mohammad Raheem, and Mohammad Khalil.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 2, 2013: Anti-corruption cricket tournament admired

By Sajid Hasan

According to a Taand Pashto News Agency report on Friday, the General Director of the Afghanistan National Cricket board (ANCB) has expressed his admiration for the anti-corruption cricket tournament currently underway in Nangarhar province amongst the different media organizations. According to the report, the Cricket Board Director Shahzada Masood, and Asadullah Wafa, the Chief of the Compliance Committee visited Hamisha Bahar and Safa Radio in Nangarhar province. Both officials expressed their admiration for the west zone cricket board in organizing the tournament to bring awareness against corruption. In the match held, Safa Radio defeated Hamisha Bahar Radio. Safa selected to bat first. They made 71 runs in 11 overs, losing all wickets. Hamisha Bahar only made 49 runs in 12 overs, losing all their wickets.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

March 2, 2013: Afghanistan wins first match of AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers

Afghanistan defeated Sri Lanka 1-0 in the Group C qualifications match for the AFC Challenge Cup 2014 today in Laos. The goal was scored by Bilal Arezo in the 45th minute of the first half. The Afghans kept the lead until the match was over. Afghanistan's next match will be against Mongolia on Monday.

March 1, 2013: Khpalwak defeats Ghazi in local football match

By Sajid Hasan

A one day local friendship football (soccer) match was played today, March 1, 2013, in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand. An official from the Helmand sports directorate said that the match was played between Ghazi and Khpalwak to further develop their sports skills in the field of football. According to the Helmand sports directorate Khpalwak defeated Ghazi by 2-0. The goals for Khpalwak were made by Ahmadullah and Ali Asghar.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 28, 2013: Women's skiing competition to start in Bamiyan; Kandaharis prepare for southern zone football tournament

By Sajid Hasan

A women's skiing competition will start on March 1, 2013 in Afghanistan's Bamiyan province. According to the Bakhtar News Agency (BNA), 15 women are participating in the competition in honor of International Women's Day, which falls on March 8th. Ameenah Hasanpur, an official from the Agha Khan Foundation told BNA that the competition is being organized by the Agha Khan Foundation and Bamiyan's provincial women's department to celebrate International Women's Day in the province.

In other sports news, Kandahar's elected football (soccer) team started their training yesterday in preparation for the upcoming southern zone football tournament scheduled to start on March 10th in Kandahar province. The people of Kandahar are happy to have the tournament be held in their province. They consider it a big honor. Mukhtar Ahmad a former footballer from Kandahar province is helping the team to prepare for the tournament. The provincial elected team consists of the best players from Kandahar province.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 27, 2013: Afghan players selected for Asian snooker competition

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's Snooker Federation (ASF) has announced that they have selected the two best Afghan players for an upcoming Asian snooker competition. Raees Khan Sanizi and Salih Mohammad Mohammad were selected after their great performances in the recent competition held in Kabul. The Asian snooker competition is scheduled to be held in March 2013, in Pakistan's Karachi City. Twenty seven countries are expected to send players. ASF said that both Afghan players will continue to practice in Kabul to prepare themselves for the competition. According to ASF, snooker is developing in Afghanistan but still faces some problems.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 26, 2013: Badminton competition starts in Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

A 3 day badminton competition started today, February 26, 2013 in Kabul's Shamshad Zone. According to Mahmood Zia Dashti, the Director of the National Sports Union, the competition is amongst 8 local teams: 2 teams from Shamshad Zone, 3 teams from Mikroyan, a team from Ghazi High School, Barchi badminton team, and a youth team. Dashti added that a total of 60 players are participating in the competition.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 25, 2013: New captain for national cricket team


Mohammad Nabi (left) and Nawroz Mangal (right)

By Sajid Hasan

On Sunday in a news conference, top officials from Afghanistan's Cricket Board (ACB) announced that the captain for Afghanistan's national cricket team for upcoming international matches will be Mohammad Nabi. Nabi replaces right-handed batsman Nawroz Mangal. A function was also held today to honor the ex-captain and provide him with an appreciation letter. While Mangal is no longer the captain, he will still remain as a member of the team. Mangal expressed no hard feelings towards the ACB's decision and had kind words about Nabi's skills. Nabi said that he will do his best to lead the team. The ACB also announced that there will be a slight modification to the team's uniform.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 24, 2013: Anti corruption cricket tournament starts in Nangarhar

By Sajid Hasan

A 12 over anti-corruption cricket tournament started today between different media organizations in Nangarhar province. According to Qarar Azizi, the west zone cricket board manager, the tournament is being held so that they can raise awareness against corruption in Afghanistan. Azizi added that in the first day,  Speen Ghar Radio defeated Meenah Radio by 6 runs. Speen Ghar Radio won the coin toss and decided to bat first. They made 93 runs in 12 overs, and lost 9 wickets. Meenah Radio only made 87 run in 12 overs, losing their all wickets.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 23, 2013: Garamser defeats Nawa in volleyball; AYSC is now a member of ACS

By Sajid Hasan

A one day volleyball match was held between two local teams today in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand. According to the Helmand Sports Directorate, it was a friendship match between Garamser and Nawa Districts teams to further develop their volleyball skills and friendship. Garamser won the match 2-1. Volleyball is slowly developing in the province but the players complain that they do not have a separate ground to play in; the volley ball games are currently played in the football fields.

In other sports news, the Afghan Youth Sports Society (AYSC) has recently been accepted as a member of the Afghanistan Civil Society (ACS). Hashmatullah Radfar, a representative from the Afghanistan Civil Society said that he welcomes the AYSC to ACS, and that the membership will allow for them to participate in ACS activities.. Currently in Afghanistan, there more than 2000 civil society organizations.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 22, 2013: Snooker competition in Kabul; Azad defeats Afghan in local Helmand football match

By Sajid Hasan

A snooker competition is currently underway in Kabul. According to the Bakhtar News Agency (BNA), the competition is among eight snooker players. According to the BNA report, the two best players will be selected amongst them for the upcoming 25th Asian Snooker Competition, which is scheduled to take place in Pakistan from April 27, 2013 to May 3, 2013.

In other sports news, a local football (soccer) match was held between two local teams in Helmand province today. According to a local sports official, the match started at 9:00 am local time between Afghan and Azad in front of a large number spectators. The official said that Azad defeated Afghan team 2-1. The goals for Azad were scored by Ahmadullah and Jabbar Khan. The goal for Afghan was scored by Mohammad Lal.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 21, 2013: Samangan defeats Ghor in Etisalat Cricket Challenge Cup match; Children’s football tournament underway in Herat

By Sajid Hasan

In the ongoing one day 50 over inter-provincial Etisalat Cricket Challenge Cup currently in progress in Nangarhar province, Samangan defeated Ghor today. Samangan won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They made 202 runs in 50 overs, losing all wickets. Ghor could not reach the target; they only made 153 runs in 47 overs, losing all their wickets. Samangan's Naqibullah made 65 runs and Niaz Mohammad made 38 runs. The main of the match award went to Naqibullah. Twenty teams from different provinces in Afghanistan are participating in the Etisalat Challenge Cup. The teams are divided into four groups. The winning team from each of the four groups will move on to play in the Etisalat Elite Cup.

In other sports news, a children's football tournament named "Fotsall" started on Tuesday, February 19th in Afghanistan's western province of Herat. According to the provincial sports director's assistant Ziaullhaq Zia, various different local children's teams will participate in the tournament. He did not mention the number of teams. On the first day, Pairozi defeated Nor Azad 3-0, and the match between Aorbalak and Amou ended in a 3-3 tie.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 20, 2013: Kapisa and Kunduz win their Etisalat Challenge Cup matches

By Sajid Hasan

In the ongoing one day 50 over inter-provincial Etisalat Cricket Challenge Cup being held in Nangarhar province, Kapisa defeated Ghor, and Kunduz defeated Paktika. According to a cricket official from Nangarhar, the matches were reduced to 20 overs because of rain.

In the first match, Kapisa won the coin toss, but chose to field and invited Ghor to bat first. Ghor scored 43 runs in 14 overs, losing all wickets. Kapisa reached the target in the 8th over, losing 5 wickets. The highest runs came from Baseer who scored 20 runs; he was awarded the man of the match.

In the second match, Kunduz won the coin toss, but asked Paktika to bat first. In 20 overs, they scored 128 runs, losing 9 wickets. Unfortunately for Paktika, Kunduz reached the target in 18 overs, losing 8 wickets. The highest runs came from Noorallah, who scored 42 runs for Kunduz, followed by Attaullah with 18.

Twenty teams from different provinces in Afghanistan are participating in the Etisalat Challenge Cup. The teams are divided into four groups. The winning team from each of the four groups will move on to play in the Etisalat Elite Cup.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 20, 2013: Uniforms distributed to female athletes in ceremony; Joint Afg-Pak cricket team created

By Sajid Hasan

Kabul's provincial governor Abdul Jabbar Taqwa recently distributed sports uniforms to female athletes in a special ceremony held at the National Olympic Committee's headquarters. A large number of female athletes were present in the ceremony where a women's boxing match was also held. Farishtah Farah, an assistant official from the Olympic Committee said that Afghan women have achieved many success in sports, and have a unique opportunity to help build up the Afghan society. She also asked for more assistance for Afghan women athletes. Afghanistan's National Olympic Committee said they will hold a women's basketball competition on March 8, 2013.

In other sports news, a joint 16 year old Afghan and Pakistani cricket team has been created. The team will play in matches to be held in Pakistan's Lahore City. The team consist of 14 players from both countries and the team will be led by an Afghan named Zakirullah Zakiri.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 18, 2013: Etisalat Challenge Cup update

By Sajid Hasan

The Etisalat Challenge Cup which started under the direction of Afghanistan's National Cricket Board (ANCB) is currently in progress in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. In the latest matches, Khost defeated Takhar and Helmand defeated Baghlan..

In the match played yesterday, February 17, 2013, between Khost and Takhar, Khost won the coin toss and decided to bat first. According to an official from Nangarhar's Cricket Board, Khost made 286 runs in 47 overs, losing their all wickets. Takhar team could not meet the target. They only made 140 runs in 28 overs, losing all their wickets.

On the same day, Helmand played against Baghlan. Baghlan won the coin toss and chose to bat first. Baghlan made 297 runs in 48 overs,  losing all their wickets. Helmand played very well; they reached the target in 48 overs and won the match.

Twenty teams from different provinces in Afghanistan are participating in the The Etisalat Challenge Cup. The teams are divided into four groups. The winning team from each of the four groups will move on to play in the Etisalat Elite Cup.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 15, 2013: Local cricket match held in Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

A one day local cricket match was held today between two local teams in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand. Azad took on and defeated Atefaq team. According to a cricket official from Helmand province, the match was organized by Helmand's cricket directorate to strengthen the cricket skills of both teams. The cricket directorate said that it was a 20 over match. Atefaq won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They made 158 runs in 20 overs and lost all their wickets. Azad made 159 runs in 19 overs, losing 8 wickets. According to the cricket directorate, the man of the match honor went to Asadullah from Azad who made 40 runs and took 3 wickets.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 14, 2013: Abu Muslim team wins football jam in Herat; Zuhra Kuhistani wins best power lifter honor

By Sajid Hasan

A football (soccer) jam ended on February 12, 2013 in Afghanistan’s Herat Province. The deputy director of Herat's sports directorate Ziaul Haq Zia said that Abu Muslim defeated Atifaq 4-2 , and thus won the jam. According to Zia. the jam was amongst 16 local teams from Herat Province. Zia added that on the final day of the jam, gifts were distributed to the winning team's players.

In other sports news, the 1391 solar year women's powerlifting competition of Afghanistan ended on Tuesday, February 12th in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Forty competitors from 6 provinces participated in the event. According to the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee (ANOC), Zuhra Kuhistani who picked up 85kg won the lifter of the year award. There are 18 members of the women’s national powerlifting team and 5 of them have participated in international powerlifting competitions.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 13, 2013: 3 losses in a row for ANCT

Afghanistan's national cricket team (ANCT) suffered another loss at the hands of Pakistan's second string A team today. Pakistan A who went 189 for 6 beat Afghanistan who went 140 for 9 by 49 runs. The match was an unofficial T20I; it was played at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. With this loss, ANCT finished 0-3 against Pakistan A. The Afghan team won the coin toss and chose to field first. When their turn at bat came up, they did well in the beginning, but soon fell apart. The highlight for the Afghan side was Asghar Stanikzai who remained unbeaten and managed to score 47 runs.

February 12, 2013: Another loss for ANCT; Basketball competition underway in Herat

In the second unofficial ODI today versus Pakistan's second string A team, Afghanistan's national cricket team (ANCT) lost by 7 wickets today (with 51 balls remaining). The 50-over match was held in Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium. Afghanistan won the coin toss and chose to bat first. They scored 207 runs in 50 overs, losing 9 wickets. Pakistan scored 208 runs in 41.3 overs losing 3 wickets. Yesterday, Afghanistan lost against Pakistan A by 8 wickets. Afghanistan will take on the Pakistan A team one more time tomorrow, February 13, 2013.

In other sports news, a basketball competition amongst teams from Herat province started yesterday. The competition involves 5 top teams drawn from district level competitions, and is expected to last 10 days.

February 12, 2013: Boxing competition ends in Kabul; Appreciation ceremony held for Afghan athletes

By Sajid Hasan

The Homayoun Boxing Jam ended today in Kabul. According to the National Olympic Committee Spokesman Mujibul Rahman Rahmani, around 200 local boxers from 20 clubs participated in the Jam. Rahmani said that the Jam was held to enhance harmony between the boxers, and to further the develop the sport in the province. The Jam was organized by the National Olympic Committee and the Bakhtari Civil Society. Rahmani added that on the final day of the Jam, the National Olympic Committee General Director Muhammad Zahir Aghbar handed out prizes to the winning athletes.

In other news, Afghanistan's Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported that yesterday the Afghanistan Civil Society (ACS) held an appreciation ceremony for 60 athletes in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul. Both male and female athletes from such sports as Taekwondo, boxing, powerlifting, and kickboxing were honored. ACS Director Fardeen Fedai was present in the ceremony and said that these athletes have brought home many medals to our homeland and they should be honored for it. He also called for the country's business people to support sports in Afghanistan. According to the BNA report, the event was held at the Ministry of Culture and Information.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 11, 2013: ANCT loses to Pakistan A

Afghanistan's national cricket team (ANCT) lost to Pakistan's second string A team by 8 wickets today in Lahore in their first of three unofficial One-day Internationals. The Pakistani team won the coin toss and elected to field in the 50 overs game. Afghanistan scored only 122 runs in 38.5 overs. Mohammad Shahzad scored 33 runs and Javid Ahmadi scored 23. The Pakistan A team, led by all-rounder Shahid Afridi, knocked off the required runs in just 16.1 overs. The Afghan team is in Pakistan for training before they head off to the United Arab Emirates to face off against Scotland in the ICC World Cricket League Championship.

February 10, 2013: Boxing competition in Kabul; Results from Etisalat Challenge Cup

By Sajid Hasan

A three day boxing competition started today, February 10, 2013 in Kabul, according to a report from Afghanistan's Bakhtar News Agency (BNA).  According to the BNA report, the competition is being held to honor the memory of deceased local boxer Homayoun. The event is being organized by Afghanistan's Boxing Federation and boxers from 20 boxing clubs are participating in the competition.

In other sports news, Parwan defeated Bamiyan, and Nangarhar defeated Jowzjan in the Etisalat Challenge Cup, currently in progress in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.

According to a sports official from Nangarhar province,  Jowzjan selected to bat first against Nangarhar. In 36 overs, they made 99 runs, losing all their wickets. Nangarhar reached the target in 19 overs, losing one wicket. The most runs for Jowzjan was made by Qri with 26 runs, and the most runs for Nangarhar was made by Najib Taratki; he scored 50 runs.

In the other match, Parwan made 260 runs in 47 overs, losing all their wickets. Bamiyan only made 117 runs in 27 overs, losing all their wickets.  Twenty teams are participating in the tournament. The teams are divided into four groups and the winning team from each group will qualify to the Etisalat Elite Cup match

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 9, 2013: Youth football tournament in Herat; Ping pong competition in Balkh

By Sajid Hasan

A youth football (soccer) tournament started on February 9, 2013 in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat. According to Herat province's sports directorate, the tournament was officially opened between 26 local youth football teams from around the province. The sport directorate said that on the first day of the tournament, Afghan team defeated Bakhtar 1-0,  and Kusar defeated Atefaq 2-1.

In other sports news, a ping pong competition was recently held in Balkh province, according to Balkh province's sports director, Mohammad Ibrahim Usman. More than 50 players participated, and the best male and female players were chosen for the elected team.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 6, 2013: Local football team gets sponsor; Basketball tournament in Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

The sports directorate of Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand announced yesterday that the local Maiwand football (soccer) team will be sponsored by the provincial police department of Helmand. Maiwand is one of the best public teams in the province; sometimes they play against military football teams as well. According to the sports directorate, the police will equip the team in order to help spread the message of peace. With this sponsorship, the financial problems of the football team will be resolved. The Helmand sports directorate added that they appreciate what the police is doing in helping out local football players.

In other sports news, yesterday in Kabul, a 3 day basketball tournament started. The tournament officially started in the 202 Shamshad Zone Police Playground. Teams from the police force and the public are the participants. The chief of Afghanistan’s National Union of Players Mahmood Zia Dashti told the Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) that the tournament is being organized by the union with help from the 202 Shamshad Zone Police. The aim of this tournament is further develop the sport of basketball game in the country and to improve coordination and trust between the police and the public.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 4, 2013: Youth football jam in Herat

By Sajid Hasan

A youth football (soccer) jam is currently underway in Afghanistan's western province of Herat. According to Herat's sports directorate, the jam officially started on Saturday, February 2nd, and it involves more than 24 local teams. The teams are divided into 4 groups. The provincial sports directorate said that in one of the recent matches of the jam, Azadi took on Ariana and defeated them 2-1.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 3, 2013: Afghan golf player leaves for Bangladesh

By Sajid Hasan

According to Mojibull Rahman, a spokesman of the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee, one Afghan golf player, and his coach has left from Kabul today for Bangladesh to participate in an Asian golf competition. The competition will take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and 9 Asian countries are expected to participate in the event. The competition will begin on February 6th and end on February 9th.

In other sports news, the week long martyred Merwais Khan volleyball tournament concluded yesterday,  February 2, 2013 in Afghanistan's northern province of Panjshir. The tournament included 5 teams from Panjshir and Kapisa provinces.  According to the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee’s Volleyball Federation, the tournament was arranged by both provinces' sports directorates. The federation reported that on the final day of the tournament, a team from Panjshir defeated the Kapisa team 3-1. Gifts were also distributed on the final day to the players. Recently volleyball has gained more popularity in these provinces.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

February 1, 2013: Women's football in Ghazni

By Sajid Hasan

Women's football has developed recently in Afghanistan's Ghazni province. According to Badsha Huzair, the sports director from Ghazni province, there are 12 women's football teams registered with the provincial sports directorate to play in matches and tournaments. Huzair said that a large numbers of women from the province like to watch sports and they also like to play various different sports. Huzair said that most of the women's tournaments and matches take place in Ghazni Central Girl's High School because there aren't specific grounds for them. Huzair said that with more help, they can further improve conditions for women's sports.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 31, 2013: Children’s football tournament underway in Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

A one week long children's football (soccer) started today in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand. The tournament was officially opened in Lashkar Gah in front of a large number of spectators. According to the sports directorate of Helmand province, 10 local children's football teams will participate in the tournament. The sports directorate added that the aim of this tournament is to further develop the skills of the children in the field of football. The kids in Helmand province like the sport of football, however, due to financial problems, they are not well equipped.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 30, 2013: Update on national cricket team

Afghanistan's national cricket team is still currently in Lahore, Pakistan training and playing practice matches against local Pakistani teams. Yesterday, they took on Lahore Ravi and defeated them. Afghanistan (263 for 6 in 48.4 overs) defeated Lahore Ravi (198 in 49.2 overs) by 4 wickets. Also, Khaama Press reported today the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) has announced that star Pakistani player Shahid Afridi will play in the upcoming one-day and Twenty20 fixtures against Afghanistan.

January 30, 2013: Peace & friendship football jam started in Kabul; Afghan rugby team in India

By Sajid Hasan

A month long football (soccer) jam in honor of peace and friendship started yesterday in Kabul. Abdul Baseer Qayyoumi, an official from Afghanistan's Football Federation told the media that 34 B-group local football teams from around Kabul province are participating in the jam. He added that the purpose of the event is to focus people's attention towards peace and unity. Qayyoumi said in the first match of the jam, Mutahid defeated Setarah Surkh 2-0, and in the second match, Gharjistan defeated Fazllullah 1-0.

In other sports news, Afghanistan's Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) recently reported that the Khorasan rugby team is currently in India for training and to participate in friendly practice matches. Khorasan is a registered team with Afghanistan's National Olympic Committee. The BNA report stated that the team will train for 15 days and then play against Indian rugby teams. According to the report, Afghanistan's Khorasan is the only foreign team to be invited to India and this is because of the good relations shared between India and Afghanistan.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 28, 2013: Local cricket match held in Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

A one day 20 overs local cricket match was held yesterday in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand. According to Helmand's Cricket Federation, the match was played between two teams from Lashkar Gah High School. Both teams (Murad and Ahmad Zai) are newly formed teams. Murad who won the match, batted first. They scored 150 runs, losing all wickets in 20 overs. Ahmad Zai only managed to obtain 140 runs in 20 overs, losing all wickets. The honor of man of the match went to Mujahid Ali from Murad who scored 49 runs in the game and took one wicket.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 27, 2013: Economy Minister To Help ACB

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's economy minister Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal promised that he will provide financial assistance to the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB). According to the Taand News Agency, a delegation from the ACB led by ACB Executive Director Noor Muhammad Murad met Arghandiwal in his office and talked with him about the current development of cricket, and the challenges faced by the national cricket team. Arghandiwal said to the delegation that the Afghan national cricket is a symbol of Afghan unity and he appreciates the achievements they have made.  Murad told the minister that the government of India had promised the ACB to construct cricket grounds in Kandahar and Khost, however, the projects have been delayed. Murad ask the minister to help so that the projects can be completed. According to the Taand report, the minister promised to help with the completion of these two cricket grounds.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 26, 2013: Children's football (soccer) underway in Herat

By Sajid Hasan

A children's football (soccer) tournament is currently on the way in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat. Herat province' s sports directorate deputy chief Ziaullh Haq said that 24 local children teams from around Herat province are participating in the tournament. Haq said that on the first day of the tournament Atefaq defeated Daheeri 4-1. According to Haq, the aim of the tournament is to enhance the skills of the children in football.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 25, 2013: 3 loses in a row for Afghan beach soccer team; Afghan team defeats team from Pakistan in DPL match

After winning their first match against Qatar in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Asia Qualifiers in Doha, Afghanistan lost 3 in a row. First they got crushed by Oman 7-0 on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, then yesterday, January 24, 2013, they played against Australia and lost 4-6, and today they lost to Bahrain 2-5. The winning teams from the Asia Qualifiers will proceed to the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which is scheduled to take place from September 18, 2013 to September 28, 2013 in Tahiti.

In other sports, news, an Afghan cricket team called the Kunduz-Kabul Eagles played against a Pakistani cricket team from Rawalpindi today in the Desert Premier League (DPL), currently being held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Afghan team won the twenty-20 match, which was reduced to 12 overs because of rain. The Pakistani team won the toss and elected to bowl first. The Afghans scored 117 runs, and the team from Rawalpindi only managed to get 82 runs when their turn to bat came. Besides Afghanistan, and host country UAE, teams from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and Kuwait are participating in the event. Tomorrow, the Afghan team will play against the Matar CC team of UAE.

January 25, 2013: Karate tournament started in Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

A one week Hashera Karate tournament started between the public and law enforcement teams on January 24, 2013 in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand. Helmand Radio Television (HRT) reported that the public central Hashera Karate teams and Afghan National Police teams are participating in the tournament. Abdul Baqi Sakhizadah, a police officer, told HRT that the aim of this tournament is strengthen the relationship and coordination among the public and police. The director of the sports department Mohammad Adrees Alizai also said that this tournament can create better trust between the people and the police.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 24, 2013: Afghan cricket team defeats team from Lahore

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's national cricket team defeated a local team from Pakistan's Lahore City in a practice 20 overs match. The Afghan team is currently in Pakistan for training. According to the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), the Lahore team batted first and set a target of 121. The Afghan team reached the target, losing 3 wickets. An official from the ACB said that the highest runs were made by Karim Sadiq with 27 and Javid Ahmadi with 20. According to the ACB, the Afghan team is also set to play 3 matches against Pakistan's A group team during their time in Pakistan.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 23, 2013: Beach soccer: Afghanistan defeats Qatar

Khaama Press reported today that Afghanistan beat host country Qatar 7-3 in the opening match of the Asia qualifiers for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer (Football) World Cup. This is the first time that Afghanistan is participating in the Asian qualifiers. The teams are divided into 4 groups, and the first place teams from each of the four groups will advance to the semifinals.

January 22, 2013: U19 team selected

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's National Cricket Board (ANCB) has selected 23 players for the U19 (under 19) team. According to the ANCB, 350 players from different provinces inside Afghanistan, as well as from the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan participated in the try outs. The try outs were held in Nangarhar province. According to ANCB Director General Shahzada Masood, the testing was transparent and fair to everyone, and all were given equal chances to show their abilities. The ANCB also said that they will hold a training camp for the new U19 team so they can further develop their skills.

The Taand Afghan News Agency provided the names of the 23 players. Name, father's name and positions are listed below.

Wahidullah, Sayed Shah Agha, Batsman
Akbar, Haji Babrak, Batsman
Amanullah. Ahmad Shah, Batsman
Khayber Khan,  Sayed Omar, Batsman
Zabihullah, Shir Malang, Batsman
Shahid, Kamal Khan, Batsman
Suliman, M. Arif, Batsman
Sarfaraz, M. Qasim, Batsman
Muslim, Haji Musa, Batsman
Naseeb Khan, Sayed Ali, Wicket Keeper
Muneer, Salahuddin, Wicket Keeper
Mohammad Sardar, M. Hassan, Wicket Keeper
Zahir Shehzad, Haji Shehzad, Spin Bowler
Hayatullah, Abdul Haqiq, Spin Bowler
Ziaur Rehman, Haji Akbar, Spin Bowler
Dawood Bahram, Haji Bahram, Spin Bowler
Zahir Khan, Ramazan, Spin Bowler
Mohammad Younas, Mohammad Kabir, Fast Bowler
Mohabbat Khan, Toor Khan, Fast Bowler
Karim Khan, Janat Gul, Fast Bowler
Mohammad Azeem, Ismail Khan, Fast Bowler
Delawar Khan, Gul Rehman, Fast Bowler
Javed, Ghazi Marjan, Fast Bowler

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 21, 2013: Afghanistan cricketers in Pakistan for training

The Associated Press reported today that Afghanistan's national cricket team arrived in Lahore, Pakistan today for a month long training ahead of the ICC Intercontinental Cup in March. Coach Kabir Khan told a news conference that they decided to train in Pakistan so they can save money. Previously, the team traveled to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates for training. The coach also said that there are negotiations with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for a five-year deal to allow Afghanistan to train at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

January 20, 2013: Swimming competition held in Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

A one day winter swimming competition was held in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul. According to the Afghan Swimming Federation, 50 swimmers from 13 sub-districts of Kabul province participated in the swimming competition. Even disabled swimmers participated in the competition. It was a friendly competition amongst the swimmers. It was the first winter swimming competition, and it took place in the Kabul Swimming Federation Swimming Pool. The Afghan Swimming Federation says that now swimming is developing in Afghanistan, and that swimmers from 16 provinces are officially participating in swimming competitions.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 19, 2013: Another football (soccer) tournament started in Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

A one month long football (soccer) tournament started yesterday, January 18, 2013 in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand. According to the Helmand Football Federation 20 local B-Group teams are participating in the tournament. An official of the Helmand Football Federation said that another tournament is also currently underway in the province in which all 20 A-Group teams are participating in. The federation official also said that both tournaments will end at the same time. On the first day of the B-Group tournament, a large number of people including government officials came to observe the inauguration ceremony.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 18, 2013: Cricket tournament to start in Nangarhar

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan National Cricket Board (ANCB) will hold a 50 overs cricket tournament in Nangarhar province. According to the ANCB, the tournament is named the Etisalat Challenge Cup, and it will start on February 3, 2013. The ANCB also said that from all of Afghanistan,  20 team will participate in the tournament. The teams will be divided into four groups and every day two matches will be held. The winning team from each group will qualify to the Etisalat Elite Cup match.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 17, 2013: 2012 was a success for cricket in Laghman Province

By Sajid Hasan

The cricket board officials of Laghman province say that 2012 was a remarkable year for cricket in the province. A representative from the Laghman Cricket Board, Maiwand Mujahid, told the Taand Pashto News Agency that in 2012 they created an independent cricket board branch in the province, and that now they have 76 cricket clubs from 7 districts registered to legally play matches.

Mujahid told Taand that he personally funded the establishment of a cricket academy in the center of Laghman, and that every day, at least 100 players practice in this academy. According to Mujahid, he has also received 30 acres of land from the provincial government to be used for a modern cricket ground. Mujahid also told Taand that the forming of a 10, 15, 16, and 19 year old teams, as well as the the establishment of the elected team are part of the remarkable developments in Laghman province. "We have also made a disabled elected team for the first time in 2012 in Laghman", added Mujahid.

Cricket players from Laghman have participated in many countrywide matches and tournaments and have achieved much success. According to Mujahid, last year he personally funded training for 20 cricket players, and he also provided the opportunity for 25 players (again using his own personal money) to play test matches in Kabul. Mujahid said that last year,  the Loba Sports Training Organization (LSTO) played a good role in training the local cricket players. "LSTO made many training programs available for our players, as well as providing uniforms and other cricket equipment to the players", said Mujahid. Mujahid added that LSTO trained a total of 150 players in Laghman.

Also in 2012, for the first time, six tournaments were played between 8 local teams in the center of Laghman Province, according to Mujahid. He also said that in 2012 they made a tournament where 66 teams participated, and from this, they selected the best players for Laghman elected team.

Now in Laghman province, there are 6 cricket play grounds and three academies. Cricket officials from Laghman province said that most of the cricket development has been done using their personal money, and that they are optimistic that in 2013, they will further develop the sport of cricket in the province. They are also appreciative of the assistance they did receive from the national cricket board.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 16, 2013: Afghanistan to compete in Desert Premier League Twenty20

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan will compete in a 20 overs Asian cricket tournament (Desert Premier League Twenty20) that will take place from January 25, 2013 to March 30, 2013 in United Arabic Emirate’s Sharjah city. According to the Taand News Agency, seven Asian countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, UAE and Kuwait) will be sending teams. A total of 32 teams will participate and 63 matches will be held. In a recent press release issued by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), the Kabul, Kunduz Eagles Cricket team (KKECT) will represent Afghanistan in the tournament. The Executive Director of the ACB Dr. Noor Mohammad Murad said to the media that the Afghan players are participating so that they can further develop their cricket skills.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 15, 2013: Football tournament ends in Khost province

By Sajid Hasan

A two month long football (soccer) tournament ended today, January 15, 2013 in Afghanistan’s Khost province. Ten local teams, divided into 2 groups, participated in the tournament. In the final match, Mojahid took on Hemat and defeated them 1-0. A sports official said that the purpose of the tournament was to further develop the skills of the players. Also, on the final day of tournament, gifts were distributed to the players.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 14, 2013: Atefaq Defeats Ariana; Tournament started in Jalalabad

By Sajid Hasan

The Best League football (soccer) tournament is currently underway in Afghanistan's western province of Herat. The tournament, which officially started yesterday, involves 8 local teams. The purpose is to select the best players for the upcoming zone tournament, which will be held later in Kabul. On the first day, Atefaq played against Ariana, and defeated them 1-0.

In other sports news, yesterday, a week long football tournament started in Jalalabad. It is being held in Jalalabad city’s Serajul Ammarah playground. According to the Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) 6 teams are participating.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 12, 2013: Football tournaments in Kabul and Herat

By Sajid Hasan

A football (soccer) tournament involving B group teams is underway in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Thirty-two local teams are participating in this tournament, which officially had started on January 10th. According to the Afghanistan Football Federation, so far, 4 teams have played against each other. Setarah Surkh defeated Fazlullah 2-1, and Mutahid Afghan team defeated Gharjistan 4-1.

Meanwhile today, in Afghanistan's western province of Herat, according to the Bakhtar News Agency (BNA), a youth football jam started. According to the BNA report, 24 local teams, divided into 4 groups are participating in the tournament.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 11, 2013: Helmandi players want zone tournament to be held in Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

Helmandi football (soccer) players say the upcoming zone football tournament should be played in Helmand Province instead Kandahar province. A number of Helmandi players told the Helmand Radio Television (HRT) network yesterday, January 10, 2013 that Helmand is now more peaceful than Kandahar and has the proper facility for the football tournament. Because of this, they want the tournament to be held in Helmand.

The players also complained about the Kandahar Sports Directorate. They said that in the last zone football tournament, the Kandahar Sports Directorate did not treat them well. Kandahar is the zone province of southern Afghanistan, and so it is not known whether the Afghan National Olympic committee will agree with the Helmandi players.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 10, 2013: Afghan football team starts preparations; Kandahar tournament concludes

By Sajid Hasan

According to the Taand Pashto News Agency (TPNA) Afghanistan's national football (soccer) team, which has 16 players with many of them living in America, Sweden, Germany, Norway and Holland, are getting ready for the upcoming Asian Challenge Cup. The players will train for 10 days in Kabul, and then go for an additional 10 days of preparations in Dubai. Afghanistan is set to play in Group C with Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Laos.

In other football news, a provincial football tournament has concluded in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar. According to the Taand Pashto News Agency (TPNA), a total of 8 teams, including a team from Pakistan's Chaman City participated in the tournament. Team Atefaq from Kandahar took on Farah in the final and defeated them 4-2. Mohammad Qasim from Atefaq got the honor of Best Player of the tournament because he made the most number of goals for his team. The TPNA report added that on the final day of the tournament, high level government officials were also part of the large spectator crowd. Gifts were distributed to the the players from the Kandahar Sports Directorate.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 9, 2013: Try-outs to be held for U19 team

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's Cricket Board (ACB) will hold try-outs to select the best players for the under 19 years old (U19) cricket team for the upcoming U19 cricket tournament in Malaysia, which is scheduled for May 2013. The try-outs are being held on January 16th in Nangarhar province's Ghazi Amanullah Khan Stadium. ACB said that all those who are interested in participating in the try-outs, to bring with them 2 copies of their picture and their national ID card.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 8, 2013: Women's football tournament ends in Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

A two week women's football (soccer) tournament ended yesterday, January 7, 2013 in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul. According to the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF), the tournament was between 10 local women's teams. The purpose of the tournament was to select the best players for the Afghan national women's football team. Twenty players have been selected for the team. On the final day of the tournament, Sangar went up against Global Trust; Sangar defeated Global Trust 1-0. Azadi came in third position. The Best Goals Award went to Faheema from the Azadi team who made 8 goals in the tournament and the Best Player Award went to Muna Amiri from the Global Trust team. Also, on the final day of tournament, gifts were distributed to the players.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 7, 2013: ANCT vs. A team series ends

By Sajid Hasan

A 3 match series between Afghanistan's national cricket team (ANCT) and the A group team ended yesterday on January 6, 2013 in Nangarhar province. According to the Taand Pashto News Agency, the A team won the the coin toss for the third and final match, and they selected to bat first. They made 161 runs in 30 overs and lost their all wickets. The ANCT reached the target in only 21 runs, losing only one wicket. The ANCT captain made 107 runs and he was not out. Another player from the ANCT, Muhibullah made 26 runs.

According to the report, A team player Khalid Atrafi made 49 runs and Ihsan Mangal made 29 runs. In this three match series ANCT won two matches and the A team won one. The purpose of these matches were to help prepare the national team for upcoming International matches. The report added the series was sponsored by Etisalat Communication Company and that the series was named the Etisalat Cricket Cup. The company gave 25000 AFs to the A group team and 50,000 AFs to the national cricket team. On the final day of the series, Afghanistan's Cricket Board General Director Shahzada Masood, Deputy Governor of Nangarhar province Mohammad Haneef Gardeewal and other officials were in attendance.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 6, 2013: Friendly volleyball tournament concludes in Herat; Gymnastics training program started

By Sajid Hasan

A week long volleyball tournament between the different governmental offices teams came to an end on January 6, 2013 in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat. According to the deputy sports Director of Herat Province, Ziaul Haq Zia, 6 local governmental teams participated in this tournament. Zia said that on the final day of tournament, the Provincial HQ team and the Zafar Corps team played against each other. The HQ team defeated Zafar team 3-1 and won the tournament. The Municipality team finished third in the tournament. According to Zia, the aim of this tournament was to enhance the relationships between the different government offices. On the final day of the event, gifts were distributed to the players.

In other sports news, a one week gymnastics training program for 15 people consisting of coaches, trainers, and team captains started yesterday, January 5, 2013 in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul. According to Afghanistan's National Olympic Committee (ANOC), the training was arranged by them to improve the skills of the gymnastic trainers and coaches.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 5, 2013: A team defeats national team; New cricket grounds to be built in Kunar

By Sajid Hasan

The second one day 30 overs match was played between Afghanistan's national cricket team (ANCT) and the A group team on Friday, January 4th in Nangarhar province. After losing the first match, the A group team pulled off a win in the second match. According to the cricket board, ANCT won the coin toss and decided to bowl first. The A team made 158 runs in 30 overs, losing 10 wickets. The ANCT only managed to make 114 runs in 24 overs, losing all wickets. A team player Naseem Qassab made 79 runs in the game, and his fellow teammate Fazal Niazai made 33 runs. Niazai also took 5 wickets, and he so was declared as the man of the match. One more match is left between these two teams. The A team is playing the ANCT so they can help prepare the ANCT for upcoming international cricket matches. Afghanistan's Cricket Board General Director Shahzada Masood was one of many numerous spectators.

In other cricket news, a new standard cricket ground will be built in Kunar province, according to press release issued by the Kunar Province Cricket Directorate. The funding which will be $700,000 is being provided by USAID. According to the press release, the Kunar PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) is also planning on building 2 other cricket grounds in 2 different districts of Kunar. Cricket is very popular in the province of Kunar; there are already around 25 registered cricket teams in the province.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 3, 2013: Peace tournaments being held in Helmand

By Sajid Hasan

A month long volleyball and football (soccer) tournaments are being held in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand. The tournaments are dedicated to the message of peace. The tournaments officially kicked off yesterday, January 2, 2013. Many local businessmen and sports fans came out to see the matches on the first day. According to the provincial sports director, 20 local teams are taking part in the football (soccer) tournament, and 10 teams are playing in the volleyball tournament.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 2, 2013: Afghan national cricket team defeats A team

By Sajid Hasan

Afghanistan's national cricket team (ANCT) and the A group cricket team played a one day 35 overs match today, January 2, 2013, in Afghanistan’s western province of Nangarhar. Afghan cricket board media spokesperson Farid Hotak said that the ANCT won the toss but they choose to field first, and let the A group team to bat first.

The A team made 192 runs in 35 overs and lost 7 wickets. In response, the Afghan national cricket team made 193 runs in 35 overs and lost 8 wickets, thus winning the match. In the match, the captain of the national cricket team Nawroz Mangal, made 50 runs and Samiullah Shinwari made 34 runs. From A group team, captain Niazi made 64 runs, and Hamayoun made 59 runs.

A large number spectators came to watch the match. The ticket price for the match was 30 AFs.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

January 1, 2013: Volleyball tournament starts in Kabul

By Sajid Hasan

A six-day volleyball tournament started today, January 1, 2013 in Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan. The tournament was officially started in the Shamshad Zone 202 police play ground in Kabul. The aim of this tournament is to bring unity among the government and the people. According to the Afghan National Association, in this six-day tournament, 9 different teams will participate. The teams are divided into 2 groups, group A and B. The teams consists of local, government, and militia forces.  In the first match of the tournament, the Shamshad Zone 202 team defeated the Afghan National Army team 3-1.

-- Edited by Abdullah Qazi

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