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10-team Afghan refugee cricket tournament kicks off

PESHAWAR: Afghan Refugees’ Cricket League got under way at the Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday with a large number of refugee youths turning up to watch the opening ceremony and the first match of the tournament played between Pesha­war Atlan and Kohat Cheeta.

The event was jointly organised by Afghan Com­missionerate, Pesha­war, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

UNHCR chief Kiran Core, who was chief guest on the occasion, formally inaugurated the tournament.

A total of 10 teams are taking part in the six-day tournament and youths from different refugee camps of Haripur, Mardan, Kohat, Peshawar, Hangu, Charsad­da and Nowshera are participating in it. The teams are: Peshawar Atlan, Kohat Chee­ta, Charsadda King, Pesha­war Stars, Nowshera Friends, Swabi Tigers, Hari­pur United, Dir Radiators, Mansehera Sharak and Bannu Sultan.

Speaking on the occasion, Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Abbas Khan said that the tournament had been organised to involve the refugee youth in healthy sports activities.

He said a total of 10 teams comprising the Afghan youth had been short-listed from various refugee camps and the initiative was aimed at providing the Afghan youth with ample opportunities for showing their hidden talents.

He announced that the players showing good performance would be shortlisted from the tournament and sent to Germany to play a bilateral series against Afghan refugees living there. The League matches will continue till Dec 10.

In the opening match, Peshawar Atlan defeated Kohat Cheeta by 20 runs.

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