M Ashraf Haidari, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, has described Pakistani cricketer Asif Ali’s gun-shot celebration following victory over the Afghan cricket team as a “shameful act of aggression.” On Twitter, Haidari also praised the Afghan team, adding that ‘the time for war will come’.
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“A scandalous aggression from Pakistan’s prominent cricketer @ AasifAli2018 who pointed his bat like a gun at Afghan players, which gave him and his teammates a hard time. Above all, sport is about healthy competition, friendship and peace. The time for war is coming! ” Haidari tweeted on Saturday after Pakistan defeated their neighbors by five wickets the previous night in Dubai at the ongoing ICC World Twenty20.
Ali held his bat like one would hold a gun while in firing position, after hitting his fourth and match-winning six on the final ball in the 19th over. As Pakistan went into the final 12 balls of its chase, Pakistan needed 24 runs to pull Afghanistan’s 147 in total. Ali, who did not finish out at 25 on just seven balls, hit four sixes to win the match for his team .
The battle was played against the backdrop of the Taliban seizing power in Afghanistan for the second time, in August. Pakistan, for its part, has faced accusations of aiding the Taliban in seizing power, an accusation that Islamabad has repeatedly denied. The new Afghan administration, which identifies the country as the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’, has not yet recognized. However, the Imran Khan government recently allowed Taliban-appointed envoys to take charge of the Afghan embassy and consulates in Pakistan.
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Haidari, meanwhile, has been Afghanistan’s envoy to Sri Lanka since 2018, when Ashraf Ghani was president of the war-torn nation. But after the Taliban took power, Ghani fled the country and became so taken in of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Incidentally, the ICC World T20 2021 competition is played in the UAE.