President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB), Azim Bassarath, has described the bombing close to Wednesday’s T20 cricket match in Afghanistan involving TT’s Rayad Emrit as “unfortunate”. Bassarath, however, praised the bravery of players from top cricket nations for taking part in the Afghanistan T20 league.
Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder, Emrit, escaped injury while playing for Boost Defenders in the Shpageeza Cricket League in Afghanistan on Wednesday when a suicide bomber killed at least three people and injured a dozen just outside the stadium in which Emrit was playing. The attack, in which no players or officials were injured, took place close to the Alokozay Kabul International Cricket Ground in Kabul.
Emrit, who described the situation as the scariest thing he has ever experienced, has cut short his participation in the league and will leave Afghanistan tomorrow morning to return to Trinidad.
Bassarath said the incident is not good for cricket, but knows Afghanistan is trying to grow the sport by inviting international players.
“It was unfortunate that this happened while the tournament was in progress. It is not good for cricket, but we must understand that the people of Afghanistan have a team that is an upcoming team that can challenge some of the international teams. The people in Afghanistan would have wanted to see some of the top class players.”
The other overseas players at the ground were the South African duo Cameron Delport and Morne van Wyk, while the Zimbabwean trio of Vusi Sibanda, Sikander Raza and Ryan Burl were also playing.
The TTCB president believes Emrit felt he would have been safe to participate in the Afghanistan league so he accepted the offer.
“I am quite sure that Rayad would have been given the assurance that everything would be alright. Hence the reason he would have accepted the offer to go to Afghanistan. The authorities in Afghanistan would have given the hope that it will be safe, because not every day or every week a bomb will go off in the capital city.”
West Indies will tour Pakistan at the end of November for three T20 matches, a country where safety is a concern also. Bassarath said Cricket West Indies must monitor closely what happens in the next two months and decide if the tour can take place.
“I am quite certain that assurances would have been given to Cricket West Indies that the situation is going to be okay and hence the reason why they accepted the invitation. If things deteriorate to an extent where lives will be threatened I think Cricket West Indies will have no other choice but to avoid sending players to Pakistan.”