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Emrit stranded after explosion

Published: 
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Afghan firefighters work at the site of a suicide attack outside a cricket stadium, in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. The explosion killed at least three people and wounded 12 others, officials said.

T&T cricketer and Guyana Amazon Warriors captain Rayad Emrit was on the cricket field in Kabul, when the suicide bomber blew himself up outside the ground in Afghanistan yesterday.

Emrit is the only West Indian cricketer taking part in the Afghanistan T20 league called the Shpageeza. He is playing for the Boost Defenders and was on the field when the action occurred. Speaking to Guardian Media Sports the former T&T captain said: “We were in the field bowling when the situation occurred. It was the second over of the innings and we heard a loud explosion go off on the outside. I felt the stadium shake, such was the force of this explosion. When I looked outside I saw a tall building shaking and broken glass all over. The entire area of the building was in smoke. We were told by officials that it was a gas cylinder that went off.”

Emrit, a resident of El Dorado continued: “We were still very shaken and we just went through the motions. We ended up winning the game but still it was not the same. It is only when the match ended, we heard the true story of what occurred.

It was not a nice situation.” The Alescon Comets player said he decided to stay in the stadium and finish the game because it was safer inside there. Emrit added that he wants to come home (T&T), but is unable to, as the next available flight is on Friday.

A statement on Islamic State’s Amaq news agency claimed responsibility for the incident, the latest in a string of suicide attacks in Kabul mounted by the group. The Shpageeza tournament, now in its fifth season, is one of a small number of Western-style sports competitions along with Afghan Premier League football that have grown up since a U.S.-led campaign toppled the Taliban in 2001. A small number of foreign players from countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka as well as the West Indies, are taking part. The Afghan Cricket Board reported that all players were safe.