While the global news has been all about the Taliban recently after they took charge of Afghanistan, in a bizarre turn of events, the extremist group's name has led to a controversy in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is being reported that a cricket tournament going on in Bhaniyana village in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district had a participating team by the name of "Taliban Cricket Club."
This resulted in controversy in the village situated some 36 kilometres away from the strategically important Pokhran. A report carried by Times Now claims that the area around Pokhran is dominated by the minority community. The area is also deemed sensitive as the Pokhran firing range is located nearby. Moreover, there is a lot of movement of army and other troops concerning country's security.
Online scoring meant organisers failed to notice team name
Later when the entire matter came to the fore, the organisers of the tournament stated that the team "Taliban Cricket Club" has been included by mistake and not only has the name been removed but even the team has been banned from participating in the competition.
A member of the organising committee also confirmed the ban imposed on the team after their first match in the tournament. The person also stated that they failed to notice the team's name because of the online scoring system this time around.
Rashid Khan anxious about the safety of his family
Meanwhile, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan has not shied away from expressing his support for his country at a time when the Taliban is making life hell for his countrymen. While coming on to the field in a match of the Hundred competition, the star leggie painted his face with Afghanistan’s flag. He has constantly been worried for his family and people back at home and his consistent performances despite the turmoil have attracted a lot of praise from cricket pundits. Former England captain Kevin Pietersen also recently had a word with him and revealed the personal suffering and anxiety of the Afghan cricketer.
While there is uncertainty regarding the future of cricket in Afghanistan, their cricket board CEO Hamid Shinwari is assured that things won't take an ugly turn since the Taliban "love" and "support" the game of cricket.