Dean Jones, cricketers make narrow escape as blast kills 3 near Kabul stadium
Dean Jones, former Australian cricket team player, had a narrow escape as a bomb blast killed three people, including a policeman, and injured five others near the Kabul International Cricket Stadium.
Jones was commentating for the sixth match of Shpageeza Cricket League, a domestic T20 tournament, between the Boost Defenders and Mis Ainak Knights when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the road leading to the stadium.
“I saw the blast go off. It shook us out of our seats,” Jones told 3AW. “The shockwaves went right throughout the grandstands and the windows ... all the players hit the ground while the game was still on.”
“I threw my microphone into the window and I just grabbed my bag and I was ready to run, to get out of there,” he added.
According to police, the suicide bomber was heading towards the stadium when security personnel stopped him and he blew himself up.
Despite the blast, the players of both the teams decided to finish the match. “We could be in England, and they’ve had terrorist attacks there, but they’ve stayed on,” he said.
Despite the tight security measures provided by the government, Jones says he still feels a little afraid while travelling to and from the stadium.
“I feel very safe at the hotel and the ground. It’s just to and from the grounds for us and the players and everyone that has been a major concern,” Jones said. “It’s been a bit spooky going to and from the ground I can assure you.”
He also took to Twitter to pray for everyone’s safety.
Several foreign players including South African batsman Cameron Delport are playing in the Shpageeza Cricket League, a domestic T20 tournament which hopes to popularize the sports in the country.
Cricket was banned during Taliban rule in Afghanistan but their national cricket team has made rapid strides in recent years. They have played in World T20 and ICC World Cup as well.