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Afghan Cricket Star Launches Charity To Help Country's Children

FILE: Rashid Khan
FILE: Rashid Khan

Afghan cricket star Rashid Khan has launched a charity foundation to help provide humanitarian assistance and education to orphans and impoverished children in the war-torn country.

Rashid Khan, 19, announcedthe establishment of the Rashid Khan Foundation on his social-media accounts.

"I cannot do great things, but I can do small things with great love and inspiration,” he wrote on August 10.

"[The] smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. The Rashid Khan Foundation will support Afghan children in need of education, orphans, clean water, and healthcare," the cricketer announced on his Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts with a combined 1.2 million-plus followers.

In May, Rashid Khan donated his Man of the Match award money at an Indian Premier League (IPL) match to the victims of blasts at a cricket game in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

Eight people were killed and more than 40 wounded by at least three back-to-back explosions that targeted the cricket match in Khan's home city.

Rashid Khan, who is the world’s top-ranked Twenty20 bowler, is currently in England, playing for Sussex County Cricket Club.

In 2017, Rashid along with teammate Muhammad Nabi became the first Afghan cricketers to play in the IPL, the world’s most lucrative and prestigious cricket league.

IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad retained Rashid Khan for the second time in 2018, paying some $1.3 million for the Afghan star in the 2018 IPL auction.

The Afghan bowler's performance helped the team to reach the IPL final this year.

In 2017, Rashid Khan signed with Adelaide Strikers to play in Australia's 2017–18 Big Bash League.

Cricket was introduced to Afghanistan by returning refugees who learned the game in neighboring Pakistan.

In recent years, cricket has become the most popular sport in Afghanistan, with cricket teams, stadiums, and academies set up in almost all 34 Afghan provinces.
Thousands of people attend domestic cricket matches, defying threats of bombing and militant attacks.

Afghanistan was also awarded test status by the International Cricket Council in 2017.

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    Farangis Najibullah

    Farangis Najibullah is a senior correspondent for RFE/RL who has reported on a wide range of topics from Central Asia, including the region’s ongoing struggle with the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact. She has extensively covered efforts by Central Asian states to repatriate their citizens who joined Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.