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The Bukhatir Legacy: Nurturing Afghanistan Cricket’s Rise in Sharjah

Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, a visionary Emirati businessman, saw the spark in Afghanistan's cricket squad thirteen years ago.

Thirteen years ago, visionary Emirati businessman Abdul Rahman Bukhatir identified the spark in Afghanistan’s cricket team, leading to a transformative journey for the war-torn nation in the cricketing world.

Afghanistan’s Cricket Genesis in Sharjah:

In 2010, Afghanistan’s cricket team, hailing from refugee camps in Pakistan, captured Bukhatir’s attention with their talent and resilience at the Intercontinental Cup. 

Despite security concerns, they triumphed globally, and Bukhatir, moved by their spirit, decided to offer a home ground.

Sharjah Cricket Stadium: Afghanistan’s Second Home:

Bukhatir’s announcement that the Sharjah Cricket Stadium would host all Afghanistan home matches provided the struggling team with opportunities and proper facilities. 

This support was pivotal in Afghanistan’s cricket development for the next five to six years.

Over the past six years, Afghanistan has produced T20 talents sought after in global leagues, including the IPL. 

Their remarkable performance at the 2023 ODI World Cup, securing wins against cricket powerhouses, underscored their growing prowess in international cricket.

Bukhatir’s Role in Player Development:

According to Mazhar Khan, General Manager of the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Bukhatir’s support was crucial in the initial stages of Afghanistan’s cricket development. 

Players like Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, nurtured during this period, have become key figures in international cricket.

Legacy of the Bukhatir League:

Many Afghan international players, including Mohammad Nabi, played in the Bukhatir League, the UAE’s oldest local cricket tournament. 

Established in 1975, the league laid the foundation for the region’s cricket culture by bringing together players from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Current Impact and Future Aspirations:

The latest beneficiary of Bukhatir’s generosity is Hassan Khan, the 18-year-old son of Mohammad Nabi, who is showcasing his talent for Bukhatir XI in UAE’s domestic tournaments. 

The legacy of Abdul Rahman Bukhatir continues, with a special connection to Afghanistan’s cricket team.

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