Joy sweeps Kabul after historic ODI win over Pakistan in World Cup match

Fireworks lit up Kabul’s skies and celebratory gunfire rang out after Afghanistan beat Pakistan in the ODI World Cup 2023 match in India on Monday night, in what was a victorious moment for both country and team.

This was the first-ever ODI win over Pakistan for Afghanistan – a victory that had fans celebrating worldwide. In Kabul, hundreds of fans swarmed out onto the streets of the capital after the match, lighting up the skies with fireworks as celebratory gunfire rang out.

As tears of joy rolled, many said the country has been through so much in the past two years that this victory was a very special moment.

Monday’s victory for Afghanistan was also very bittersweet, especially as tensions between the two countries have been growing over the past few months.

Opening batsman Ibrahim Zadran, with 87, was awarded player of the match and dedicated the win to “people who are sent from Pakistan back home to Afghanistan”.

This was in reference to Pakistan’s November 1 deadline for all undocumented refugees from Afghanistan to leave the country voluntarily or face arrest and deportation.

Afghanistan’s win was hailed by the Taliban on Monday night. Maulawi Abdul Kabir, political deputy of the prime minister’s office, said in a post on X: “We congratulate the national cricket team, cricket board, and all Afghans on this victory.”

“This competition showed that Afghan youths are capable in any field and can win. We wish them more success,” he said.

Messages of congratulations poured in after the match with politicians, sportsmen and women, and individuals taking to social media to share the joy.

India’s Sachin Tendulkar, considered one of the greatest batsmen in history, said on X: “Afghanistan’s performance at this World Cup has been nothing short of outstanding. Their discipline with the bat, the temperament they’ve shown, and aggressive running between the wickets reflects their hard work.”

“With a formidable bowling lineup, their victories over teams like England and Pakistan indicate the emergence of a new Afghanistan team.

“The cricket world is taking note. Well done!” he said.

Former president Hamid Karzai was also quick to acknowledge the team and said in a post on X: “Congratulations to all the countrymen for the victory of Afghanistan’s national team against Pakistan in the ICC fifty-over World Cup.

“I wish you more success in the remaining matches,” he added.

Former CEO of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah also congratulated the team and said it had been a “thrilling match”.

“Congratulations to the national cricket team on their victory against the Pakistan team,” he said.

Team members also expressed their joy on social media. Rashid Khan said on X: “There is no better feeling than this.”

The team’s captain, Hashmat Shahidi said: “Congratulations to all nation on big win over Pakistan in Cricket World Cup – it was overall team performance, proud to be leading this fighting team.”

The International Cricket Council (ICC) meanwhile said in a message of its own, on X: “Creating history, one victory at a time.”