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Explosion in Kabul stadium injures four Shpageeza Cricket League spectators

Disrupted game between Band-e-Amir Dragons and Pamir Zalmi was eventually allowed to continue

Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq
An explosion in the stands at Kabul International Cricket Stadium, during a Shpageeza Cricket League T20 match, has left four spectators injured. The game, the second of the day at the same venue, was between between Band-e-Amir Dragons and Pamir Zalmi.
After the four spectators were taken to hospital and the police cleared play to resume, it did, with Band-e-Amir Dragons easily chasing down their DLS adjusted target of 94 in 10 overs to secure victory with nine wickets and 17 balls to spare. Pamir Zalmi had made 159 for 5 in their 20, before the chase was delayed.
"Kabul police arrived on scene and took charge, cordoning off the stand," Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Naseeb Khan told ESPNcricinfo. "After an hour or so, they gave us clearance to resume the game."
Everyone directly involved in the game, from the players to coaching staff, were unaffected by the blast.
There were several prominent Afghanistan players in action at this T20. World Cup hero Shapoor Zadran was captaining Pamir Zalmi and he had Dawlat Zadran, who was one of the team's reserves at the 2021 T20 World Cup, and Mohammadullah Najibullah, who was with the Under-19 team at the World Cup in 2022, by his side.
The winners Band-e-Amir Dragons were captained by Aftab Alam, who last played for Afghanistan at the 2019 World Cup before being suspended for a year for disciplinary breaches. Among his team-mates were Karim Janat, the bowling allrounder who was part of Afghanistan's most recent assignment, a tour of Zimbabwe in June, Kamran Ghulam, the Lahore Qalandars batter, and Ikram Alikhil, who as an 18-year-old struck 86 off 93 balls against West Indies in the previous ODI World Cup.
The Shpageeza Cricket League is Afghanistan's premier domestic T20 tournament and is played entirely in Kabul. This match was the 22nd game of the tournament. There are six league-phase games remaining, followed by three playoffs and the final.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent