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2009 Proves Luckiest for Afghan Athletes
Dec. 29, 2009

KABUL (PAN): The year 2009 remained the luckiest for Afghan players who besides winning several championships also grabbed 72 medals in different games. The most successful were cricket players who won several matches and championships held outside the county during the year.

The team won an eight-nation international cricket tournament championship held in Argentina in the month of January. Three months later, the team won the sixth position in another cricket tournament held in South Africa in April.

Allah Dad Noori, deputy head of the Cricket Board, told Pajhwok Afghan News that organizers of the 12-nation tournament in South Africa had decided that teams winning the fifth or sixth position would be allowed to participate in one-day international cricket.

In November 2009, the Afghan team emerged as champion of the Twenty-20 tournament held among 12 Asian teams in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Afghanistan had shared the same championship with Oman two years ago. The national cricket team also visited Zimbabwe and Holland and held test matches besides one-dayers in the two countries.

Besides the national team, the under-19 cricket team also recorded several achievements during the outgoing year. The team won second position in the Under-19 tournament in Kuwait. In September, the U-19 team not only won the second position in a tournament in Canada, but also made their way to join the international championships.

Shahzada Masood, former head of the cricket federation, said Afghan players possessed the capabilities which other players did not possess. "If proper environment is provided, the Afghan players can win position in any game."

Besides cricket, the Afghan players achieved victories in other games as well. Media in charge of the National Olympic Committee Arif Paiman said their players won 72 medals in different games in 2009. Of those medals, he added, 12 were gold and the rest silver and bronze.

Majority of the medals were won in Taekwando. The rest were achieved in Karate, boxing, Oshu and other games. He said Afghan players visited Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Iran, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Germany, the United States and some other countries.


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