Afghanistan is an interesting land which has different seasons and different mindset of generations. The inhabitants of Afghanistan are quite interested in the aesthetic sense and daily life activities. But unfortunately, they have been kept under severely frustrating and undeveloped conditions for the last three decades, where their enlightened, well-to-do and rich cultural and thinking traditions were hijacked and suppressed by proxies through war. Their natural style of smiling and kidding, as well as fun, made fun of buffer states.
The locations and open grounds where they played buzkashi, football, volleyball and other sports were seized by barbaric forces, and they were converted into killing grounds. But now, with the introduction of the new democratic government by the international community, the situation is changing with the passage of time. Grounds of dust and mud have reopened for the Afghan people; however we are lacking the basic facilities and resources for satisfactory playing.
In this new era, a cricket stadium named Zarmalwal Cricket Stadium is a nonprofit project with a lot of facilities, such as 5000 to 7000 seats for spectators, a modern night lighting system, proper greenery, a modern pitch and security, located at Ahmad Shah Baba Meena, Kabul.
Mr. Akram Quarishi, 22, states about the ground facilitators:
“I really appreciate the step taken by a local businessman, Mr. Jaylani Zarmalwal.” He added further, “You know here people don’t spend on entertainment, but Mr. Jaylani Zarmalwal has played a pioneering role in this sector.”
Another spectator said before coming to see a T20 match:
“I am very happy that there is an international playing ground in front of my house, and sometimes I really feel proud that we are also able to play on an international level, and I hope this ground will help in bringing international cricket matches here one day.”
While talking to the owner of Zarmalwal Cricket Stadium, he states:
“I have kept the foundation of entertainment and cricket; this means peace and stability. I am happy to state that the national team members come and go with a lot of learning from here.”
When I asked about the funding and government attention, he replied with desperation:
“I am very unhappy to state that the stakeholders and majority of the government are not interested in the promotion of sports and especially cricket and I think that cricket is the only source of national and international dignity for Afghanistan and the national team players are doing very well. What I want to say about funding, to be honest, nobody paid for the construction of Cricket Stadium.”
Then later I asked the next question about stadium facilities, he replied,
“I don’t think that we are perfect and that’s all; I think we need a dressing room, proper walls, transport, additional quality equipment and much more, but unfortunately, nobody, including the government, vows to help us at this juncture.”
He added further, “I am happy that many young people come and join us while leaving addiction and violence and now they are coming to peace and stability and I am happy for this. We feel happy when we say we have made a great contribution in national team training. Many of our dear young people come and see the cricket matches and we have arranged almost 220 “twenty matches” on the national level.”
Mr. Jaylani Zarmalwal, son of BBC journalist and writer of many books, the late Ghulam Zarmalwal, has spent millions of Afghani on the cricket ground. We really need businessmen to spend in the areas of peace, entertainment, cinema and theater, but such matters are not given priority by the cream of society. The government and other stakeholders need to think about such activities and investment motivation and appreciation. The new government needs to give full attention to the promotion of sport’s activities for the encouragement of peace, stability and national integration and healthful society.
The Afghan Tribune | Yousaf Shoar | Published: November 16, 2015, 10:44 PM