Afghans who fled country after Taliban retook power play cricket match against local team


Refugees are bowled over by British welcome! Afghans who fled the country after Taliban retook power play cricket match against local team in event organised by town’s Baptist church

  • Those staying in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, took to the field on Sunday
  • Nazir, a former interpreter for UK troops, was amongst the players at the match
  • Match was organised by town’s Baptist church and council and ended in a draw

They were desperately fleeing Afghanistan just last month after the Taliban seized power.

And the Afghan refugees are settling into life in the UK with a friendly – but fiercely competitive – game of cricket.

Those staying at a hotel in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, took to the field on Sunday against the local team in a match organised by the town’s Baptist church and council.

Afghan refugees are settling into life in the UK with a friendly – but fiercely competitive – game of cricket 

Nazir, a former interpreter for UK troops, and Shams, who worked as a communications officer at the British Embassy in Kabul for ten years, were among the players. 

Nazir told of his deep gratitude for the town’s support, adding that his six children, aged between three and 14, were ‘very happy’ and are ‘passionately waiting for their chance’ to start school. The game ended in a draw.

Talking about his new life in the UK, Shams said: ‘We feel safe, and we appreciate the opportunity to be here.

‘But some of my colleagues and relatives are in hiding from the Taliban.

Afghan refugees are settling into life in the UK with a friendly – but fiercely competitive – game of cricket (pictured: Afghan citizen Abdullah watches his father take park in match)

Afghan refugees are settling into life in the UK with a friendly – but fiercely competitive – game of cricket (pictured: Afghan citizen Abdullah watches his father take park in match) 

‘They have been shifting their locations, but this is a very temporary measure… they are living in a life-threatening situation.’

When asked if he felt the UK owed it to him to evacuate his remaining embassy colleagues and relatives, he said: ‘Yes.

‘I just remind Priti Patel of her words, when she said that she owes a debt of gratitude to the Afghan people, I think that’s the best way to put it, and we really hope the UK will continue to try its best to evacuate the people who deserve it.’

Nazir, 43, who worked in Helmand between 2009 and 2012, said his family of nine had to relocate 12 times in Afghanistan ‘due to being threatened by the Taliban’ and he fears for his brother and sister-in-law who did not manage to escape.

Those staying at a hotel in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, took to the field on Sunday against the local team in a match organised by the town's Baptist church and council

Those staying at a hotel in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, took to the field on Sunday against the local team in a match organised by the town’s Baptist church and council

He said: ‘I have spent 43 years in my homeland with my relatives and my countrymen so it was really very, very difficult for me to leave, but I was compelled with my family to leave, because we have to live.’

He added: ‘One thing, to be very clear, the Taliban can’t be trusted… so we have deep concerns about our family left behind in Afghanistan.

‘(My relatives) are being tortured, mentally tortured, threatened and they are being intimidated, asking them where we are, because they have got our list according to the information on social media, the Taliban have access to some of the interpreter list data…

‘We will keep on trying to evacuate them from Afghanistan… but the process still belongs to the Government.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk