Cricket is not the national sport of Afghanistan like India, its real identity is the game of the 'rich'


Like India, cricket is very popular in Afghanistan too. Children can be seen here holding bats in their hands. That is why the Afghanistan team has never struggled with the lack of good players. Players like Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi are heroes here. But very few people would know that cricket is not the national sport here.

Rashid Khan and Afghanistan cricket team (Photo-PTI)

In the T20 World Cup-2024, the Afghanistan team surprised everyone with its performance. It made its way to the semi-finals by defeating a strong team like Australia. Afghanistan had earlier defeated Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the World Cup-2023. Not only this, it also came very close to defeating Australia. However, the graph of Afghanistan's performance has not suddenly gone up. Its performance has improved year after year. The reason for this is the popularity of cricket in the country.

Like India, children in Afghanistan are also fond of playing cricket. Their heroes are Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi. But very few people would know that like India, cricket is not the national sport of Afghanistan.

This is the national game of Afghanistan

The national game of Afghanistan is Buzkashi. This game is played while riding a horse. This game is very famous in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan. There are two teams in this. A goat or calf is placed in the middle of the field. The players try to pick it up by running their horses. The one who picks it up tries to throw it out of the boundary line by escaping from the players of the other team, while the players of the other team try to snatch it.


Buzkashi is the national sport of Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, this game is usually played on Fridays. The player of Buzkashi is called Chapandaaz. In Afghanistan, it is believed that a skilled Chapandaaz is usually in his forties. The horses used in Buzkashi also have to undergo rigorous training. It is not necessary that the player himself owns a horse. Horses are usually owned by landlords and rich people, as their maintenance costs a lot.

What are the rules of Buzkashi?

  • The ground of Buzkashi is in square shape.
  • There are 10 players in each team.
  • Only five riders from each team can play in one half.
  • The total duration of one half is 45 minutes.
  • There is a break of 15 minutes between the two halves.
  • This game is played under the supervision of a referee.

The game was banned during the first reign of the Taliban government in Afghanistan as they considered the game to be immoral. The game resumed after the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001. When the Taliban regained power in 2021, they allowed the game to continue.