A violent brawl broke out at Sharjah Stadium soon as Pakistan completed a thrilling victory over Afghanistan in the Asia Cup, on Wednesday. In the video that is going viral, some Afghan fans are seen thrashing the Pakistani supporters with chairs.
The brawl wasn’t limited to the stadium alone, as there was an altercation even outside the venue. However, thankfully, it didn’t take a violent turn. In the last three years, Afghanistan has lost numerous close matches to Pakistan in big-ticket events, including the last year’s T20I World Cup.
The complex geopolitical relationship they share always creeps into the cricket field, and soon after the game, prominent figures from both nations took cognizance of the brawl.
Mohsin Dawar, Member of the National Assembly, wrote, “Using a cricket match as an excuse to hurl racist abuse against Afghans is peak shamelessness. Pakistan’s decades-old strategic depth policy and interventionist misadventures in Afghanistan are why Afghans have a problem with Pakistan. Introspect before belittling Afghans.”
Similarly, Pakistan’s pacer Shoaib Akhtar took a dig at Shafiq Stanikzai, the executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), asking him to ensure that both Afghan players and fans adhere to the spirit of the game.
“This is what Afghan fans are doing. This is what they’ve done in the past multiple times. This is a game and it’s supposed to be played and taken in the right spirit. @ShafiqStanikzai your crowd & your players both need to learn a few things if you guys want to grow in the sport,” tweeted Akhtar.
But before the spectators, it was the players who were involved in a scuffle, with Pakistan’s Asif Ali raising the bat at Afghanistan’s Fareed Ahmed. This happened after Fareed got rid of Asif and gave him a fiery send-off.
Many Afghan players, including the board executive Stanikzai, shared the clip, requesting the suspension of Asi Ali.
As far as the game is concerned, Naseem Shah struck two consecutive sixes off the final over to see Pakistan off the finishing line. Pakistan also qualified for the Asia Cup final with this victory, where they will meet Sri Lanka.
Lead Image: PCB/Twitter