The left-arm fast bowler of Afghanistan, Fareed Ahmad, who was an instrumental figure in his side reaching the final of the men’s cricket competition at the Asian Games 2023, called out the ruling to award the gold medal to India as “bizarre.” The 29-year-old alluded to how the Indian cricket team became champions of the Asiad by virtue of having the higher seeding after rain caused the final to be abandoned.
For the unversed, Fareed Ahmad played all three matches at Zhejiang University of Technology Cricket Field in Hangzhou for Afghanistan, picking up three wickets at the Asian Games 2023. His three-over spell yielded a three-wicket haul for just 15 runs, against the arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final of the competition.
Speaking to Indian Express, Fareed Ahmad spoke about how the officials should have given the gold medal to both teams after the final of the Asian Games between India and Afghanistan was abandoned. On the sidelines of the net session in Delhi as a reserve player for the ODI World Cup 2023, he was quoted as saying, “They should have split the gold medal. Both teams should have been given the medal. It was quite a bizarre rule that India were awarded the gold. The match could have been closer if not for rain.”
The 29-year-old also spoke about the unique experience of playing cricket in China during the Asian Games 2023 and said, “It was a great experience to play in the Asian Games. The ground was very small. The Chinese fans were also funny. They were so excited to see us play. They used to clap on everything, be it a boundary, six or wicket. It was a different experience for them as well.”