Afghanistan’s captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi, dedicated his team’s remarkable World Cup victory over the Netherlands on Friday to the “struggling refugees” back in his homeland, underscoring his unwavering commitment to advancing to the tournament’s semi-finals.
In a dominating performance, Afghanistan secured a seven-wicket triumph with 111 balls to spare, marking their fourth victory at the event. Their impressive journey has included shocking defending champions England, as well as victories over Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Following the victory, Hashmatullah Shahidi directed his thoughts and sentiments towards the dire situation faced by his fellow countrymen along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over 165,000 Afghans have fled Pakistan in the past month, following Islamabad’s ultimatum to 1.7 million individuals to leave the country or face arrest and deportation.
Addressing this humanitarian crisis, the 28-year-old captain stated, “A message to our country back home. We know that a lot of refugee people are struggling. We are watching the videos, and we are sad for them. We are with them in these tough times, and I want to dedicate this win to them, who are in pain, and to everyone back home.”
Hashmatullah Shahidi also shared a personal motivation for his commitment to reaching the semi-finals, revealing, “I lost my mother three months ago, and my family is in a lot of pain. We are still dreaming and we are still trying our best to make the semi-final. That would be such a big achievement for our country and for me.”
Afghanistan’s coach, Jonathan Trott, expressed his admiration for the players’ deep connection with the myriad of challenges faced by their homeland, showcasing their resilience and commitment to both the game and their nation.