SHARJAH – United Arab Emirates (UAE) Police arrested over 391 Afghan nationals for damaging Sharjah Stadium infrastructure and attacking Pakistani fans. Afghan fans vandalized the stadium and attacked Pakistani Cricket spectators after losing the cricket match against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2022.
Reportedly, 97 Afghan nationals were arrested from various parts of the UAE and are being detained by police. A total of 391 people were arrested and fined AED 3,000 (Approximately RS 190,000) for vandalizing stadium infrastructure and violence against Pakistani fans outside the stadium premises. Police warned that if such an incident is repeated, those involved will be deported back.
Afghan fans arrested for violence
Afghan cricket fans became violent after their team’s last-over defeat to Pakistan in the Asia Cup Super 4 match on Wednesday which resulted in Afghanistan’s elimination from the tournament. These trouble-making afghan fans destroyed stadium infrastructure, hurled chairs at Pakistani fans, and were involved in scattered fist-fights and violence outside the stadium premises as well.
This is what Afghan fans are doing.
This is what they've done in the past multiple times.This is a game and its supposed to be played and taken in the right spirit.@ShafiqStanikzai your crowd & your players both need to learn a few things if you guys want to grow in the sport. pic.twitter.com/rg57D0c7t8ADVERTISEMENT— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) September 7, 2022
Throughout the match, both teams were in high spirits, hugging and laughing with one another. However, things took a turn for the worse during the 19th over when Pakistan’s Asif Ali got into an altercation with Afghanistan’s Fareed Ahmed.
Fareed had struck twice in the over including the key wicket of big-hitting Asif. The batsman, who hit two sixes in a brisk 16 off eight balls, was caught at short fine-leg in an attempt to hook a bouncer and became embroiled in a row with Fareed as he was making his way off the field.
Fareed started shouting and raging in celebration in front of the batsman. Asif Ali lost his temper and angrily waved his bat at the Afghanistan bowler. The players had a heated exchange and the rest of the Afg cricket team had to pitch in to stop the fight.
Naseem Shah’s heroic performance
Naseem Shah who witnessed the heated exchange played a brilliant knock afterward and smashed back-to-back sixes in the last over to seal a close victory that eliminated Afghanistan and India from the tournament. Shah threw away his helmet and batting gloves while running toward his teammates on the ground and sprinting toward the dressing room to celebrate the victory. The highly charged Pakistani team rushed onto the field to celebrate the breathtaking win.
Afghanistan lost that match despite being in a very good position to win after the wicket of Asif Ali. This enraged the supporters of the Afghanistan cricket team in the stadium and they started damaging stadium infrastructure and throwing chairs at Pakistani spectators.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman, Ramiz Raja, expressed concerns over the incident and has decided to lodge a protest with the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the upcoming meeting.
“This game doesn’t want such an environment. The visuals were really bad. This wasn’t the first time such a thing happened. Emotions should be kept in check, we own our fans and we lodge a protest with the ICC,” he said.
Afg captain Mohammad Nabi in a shocking revelation commented that his teammates left the Cricket Stadium straight after the match and took green tea and some sleeping pills after reaching the hotel.
Asif Ali and Fareed Ahmad fined
Asif Ali and Fareed Ahmad were both fined for violating Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the Asia Cup match between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The pair is fined 25% of their match fees for an altercation that occurred after the fifth delivery of the 19th over.
Afghanistan ‘can learn to control pressure’ only by playing top teams regularly: Ahmadzai
Afghanistan’s assistant coach Raees Ahmadzai commented that the ICC and other full members need to play with Afg more often to help them develop quality, improved game sense, and the ability to win close contests.
Since 2021, Afghanistan has only played Ireland, Netherlands, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe in bilateral series. Their maiden tour to Australia, which was first postponed because of Covid-19 in 2020, was called off late last year.
Shoaib Akhtar’s take on the whole situation and Pakistan’s victory
Afghan players put right back into their place by 19 year old kid Naseem Shah. Unforgettable match against people we have loved & supported always.— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) September 7, 2022
Lekin bat tamizi aur arrogance nay un no foran neecha dikhaya.
Full video: https://t.co/u3LsS2GfrD pic.twitter.com/X6Obdq35bj
Pakistan vs Afghanistan Match Recap
Pakistan won a close, low-scoring game against Afghanistan by one wicket in Sharjah, thus booking their spot for the Asia Cup 2022 Final with Sri Lanka. The result ended the campaign of Afghanistan along with that of defending champion India.
After winning the toss and restricting Afghanistan to 129 for 6, Pakistan would have expected an easy chase. However, Afghanistan’s bowlers kept the scoring rate down. After ten overs, Pakistan were 52 for 3.
Afghanistan’s bowlers tried building the pressure on Shadab Khan, who was promoted to No. 5, but he responded with some powerful hits. Although Afghanistan continued to take wickets, it wasn’t until Fazalhaq Farooqi’s double strike in the 18th over that Afghanistan had a real chance.
With 21 runs needed to win from 2 overs, Pakistan’s Fareed Ahmad got the wickets of Haris Rauf and hard-hitter Asif Ali. This left Pakistan requiring 11 runs from the final over, with No. 10 Naseem Shah and No. 11 Mohammad Hasnain at the crease. Farooqi missed his yorker twice in two balls, and Naseem hit both full tosses over long-off to seal the game with four balls to spare.
Pakistan vs Afghanistan Match Highlights