In the wake of a suicide attack in Afghanistan capital Kabul, which left three dead and at least 12 wounded, Pakistan’s former all-rounder Abdul Razzaq decided to quit the fifth edition of the ongoing 2017 Shpageeza Cricket League (SCL) while expressing his desire to return Pakistan.
“I immediately decided to return to Pakistan, but the tour organisers persuaded me to play one more match,” Razzaq was quoted as saying by Dawn, Pakistan.
During the professional Twenty20 league which kicked off on Monday (September 11), the suicide bomber blew himself while exploding the explosives near one of the check-posts outside the Alokozay Kabul International Cricket Stadium.
“I was watching a match on television when I heard a deafening blast. All the players were terrified,” Razzaq recalled.
The 37-year-old Lahore-born shaken batting all-rounder Razzaq announced his international retirement in June, after featuring in his last fixture in 2013, when he faced South Africa at Dubai.
The fatal blast took place on September 13 (Wednesday) soon after the innings break of the sixth game between MIS Ainak Knights and the Boost Defenders.
However, at least three international players including Zimbabwean Vusi Sibanda, Sikandar Raza and South African Morne van Wyk and Windies Rayad Emrit were participating in the match which was resumed after a brief pause which saw the security was beefed up by the Afghanistan government.
According to the Cricinfo reports, which stated the loud explosion was heard in fourth over when Knights were chasing down the daunting target of 202 in 20 allotted overs.
Pertinently, at the time of a bomb blast, the right-handed batsman was watching the live telecast of the match in his hotel room, before panic engulfed the area.
It has been mentioned the hotel was a couple of minutes away from the blast site which in no time was cordoned off by the security before firefighters, ambulances rushed to the spot.
In 2013, in the war-torn country Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), has floated the idea of the T20 competition, in a bid to impress the major players and teams after earning the Test membership alongside Ireland during the recently concluded world cricket body ICC’s Annual Meeting.
The league which has been a home to six franchises which is eventually scheduled between September 11 and 21 in Kabul.
Earlier, Razzaq also expressed his desire for the farewell reception alongside former skipper Shahid Afridi, Misbah-Ul-Haq and Younis Khan, who led Pakistan to 2009 victory in Twenty20 World Cup.
However, Razzaq being denied of the lap of honor by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) which further saw the veteran all-rounder in Pakistan, has formally accepted his fate after serving Pakistan for around 13 years – to hung his boots.
Soon after the deadly blast, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) also recalled its nine players from the competition, as the league has been the home to players from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Windies including Pakistan.