The Afghan U-19 cricket team returned home late Tuesday after winning the U-19 Asia Youth Cup in Malaysia over the weekend.
In their final match, they beat Pakistan U-19 cricket team by a sterling 185 runs.
On arrival home, the team received a warm welcome at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
In the run up to their win, the Afghan U-19 cricket team beat UAE and Pakistan in their group matches but lost to Sri Lanka.
After beating Nepal in the semi-finals they moved through to the finals where they beat Pakistan.
This was the first time in history that the Afghan team scooped the title.
“We showed today that if the opportunity is given to the youth of the country, they will win on the field; the country that has spent years at war has come together and this time became the champions of Asia,” Lotfullah Mashal, head of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), said.
“It is a great pleasure for us that our future youth generation, which is the U-19 cricket team, became the Asia champions which in reality showed they are the world champions,” said Minister of Urban Development, Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi.
“Our youth for Asia and the world have shown that our youth have strength and determination to win and can raise Afghanistan's flag in all areas,” transport acting-minster Hameed Tahmasi said.
“Cricket is not only about a bat and ball, but cricket is a game that has raised the name and flag of Afghanistan all over the world,” said second deputy speaker of parliament, Mohammad Nazir Ahmadzai.
After arriving home, a ceremony was held at the ACB offices in Kabul and cash prizes and letters of appreciation were handed out to the players and the national U-19 team’s technical staff.