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08-27-2011, 11:26 PM
Basketball Competition
Ends in Helmand Province

Reported by Noor Ahmad Noori
An eight day basketball competition, titled the Zaland Basketball
Tournament, recently ended in the southern province of Helmand. Eight
basketball teams from around the province participated in the event. The
winner of the tournament was the Umaid Team, they beat the Sahar team
in the finals, according to Ismatullah Muslim, the Director of Sports in
Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.

On the last day of the event, a ceremony was held where gifts were
presented to the players by the provincial government officials. Abdullah
Jaan, a member of the provincial assembly who was also present at the
event, expressed his admiration for the achievements of the players and
encouraged them to further develop their skills.

The tournament was named after Zamari Zaland, an Afghan bodybuilder
who won a gold medal in the 2011 Asian bodybuilding competitions, and
interestingly enough, was also the captain of a team that participated in
this basketball tournament.

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08-27-2011, 11:38 PM
Karate in Helmand Province
Karate Martial Artists From Helmand Province

Reported by Noor Ahmad Noori
Martial arts like Karate are very popular in Afghanistan, this includes the
southern province of Helmand. The youths in the province are especially
interested in Karate, and learn it for self defense purposes. In Lashkar Gah,
the capital city of Helmand, there are numerous Karate clubs.

The Karate martial artists from this province have done well in competitions
as well. Last month, in July, 12 martial artists from Helmand participated in
a major Karate competition in Kabul. According to Ismatullah Muslim, the
Director of Sports in Helmand province, there were people from 22 other
provinces, and that around 600 people participated. One person,
Nasratullah Nasrat did exceptionally well, and was picked to participate in
an upcoming Asian Karate tournament to be held in Turkey.

Mohammad Gulab Mangal, the governor or Helmand province has expressed
his admiration for these local martial artists and wishes them much
success. He believes Nasrat will be successful in upcoming competitions.

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08-27-2011, 11:40 PM
Cricket in Helmand

A discussion with the Helmand Regional Cricket Board
Manager, Mohammad Tahir Abshar.
By Noor Ahmad Noori
Mohammad Tahir Abshar

Twenty-five year old Mohammad Tahir Abshar, who was born is Lashkar Gar city
(capital of Helmand province), is the Helmand Regional Cricket Board Manager. I sat
with him recently at his office in Helmand to discuss the status of cricket in Helmand

Mr. Abshar grew up in Quetta, Pakistan. When the Taliban regime fell in 2001, he
came back to Lashkar Gah city with his family, and went back to school there. He
graduated from the 12th grade from the Lashkar Gah Boys High School. Mr. Abshar
has 14 years of experience in the sport of cricket. In early 2010, he was a cricket
manager, but when a cricket board was established in Lashkar Gah, he became the
manager of the board.

Mr. Abshar said that there are currently 14 adult men's cricket teams in Lashkar Gah,
and 3 youth teams (ages 6-14). I asked him about any girls' teams, and he said that
because of the current situation, there currently are no girls' cricket teams, but they
are working towards making them.

According to Mr. Abshar, the cricket team from the province travels to other
provinces to play against teams from different provinces. They have been to
Kandahar, Kabul and Jalalabad. In fact, he mentioned that in 2010, his team played
against a team from Ghor province in Jalalabad and defeated them.

Mr. Abshar said that the development of cricket in the province is going well. They are
lots of spectators and that two of the teams have even been sponsored by local

Mr. Abshar also mentioned that they lack an adequate playing field and that they
have requested the governor for land. For now, his team practices in a football field.

I also got a chance to speak to some local cricket fans. They are happy to see local
cricket games in Lashkar Gah. Twenty-one year old Ahmadullah, who resides in
Lashkar Gah, said that he has attended the games and that he really enjoys them.

Twenty-three year old Samiullah, a local cricket player, told me, "I really enjoy playing
cricket. I practice it every day, now we just need a proper cricket field in Lashkar

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09-10-2011, 04:17 PM
Helmandi youth turn to sports as an
escape from bad habits and illegal
Abdul Rahim

Things are really tough right now in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand. The
recent situation has brought upon a lot of miseries for the people of this land.

However, the youth have turned to sports in order to prevent themselves from getting
caught up in illegal activities or even bad habits like smoking. Twenty-six year old
Mojtabah Mohammadi said that he exercises every day, and body builds in order to
stay away from such things as smoking. Twenty-two year old Illham plays football
whenever he has free time. He said that he wants to protect himself from "bad

The people of Helmand participate in all sorts of sports, and there are numerous
sports fans. Mr. Abdul Rahim, the Technical & Administrative Deputy Sports Director in
Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, told me in an interview that Helmand is
booming with all sorts of athletes. For example, he said there are currently 60 football
teams, 10 bodybuilding teams, 14 cricket teams, as well as Karate, Taekwondo,
Wushu, Basketball, cycling, and wrestling teams. There is even a snooker team.

Mr. Rahim said that he is happy that the athletes from this province have done well in
competitions and have brought home medals. He also said that the governor of the
province, Mohammad Gulab Mangal, is also very supportive of the athletes, and
encourages them often. In fact, he even awarded 4 accomplished athletes (Mastoo
Khan, Nasratullah Nasrat, Aziz Ahmad Helmandi & Saeed Baqir Agha) with land to build
a house upon. Matoo Khan is a martial artist (Wushu), Nasratullah Nasrat is also a
martial artist (Karate), Aziz Helmandi is a bodybuilder and Saeed Baqir Agha is a
football player. According to Mr. Abdul Rahim, they have all brought home medals in
their respective sports.

Mr. Abdul Rahim is concerned that there aren't enough grounds for the different
sports, however, he is confident and optimistic about the future and believes this
problem will be solved soon.

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09-11-2011, 06:04 PM
September 11, 2011: Club level cricket
tournament starts in Helmand

Yesterday, a club level cricket tournament started in Lashkar Gah, the capital of
Afghanistan's Helmand province. All known local clubs in the city are expected to
participate in the event. Mohammad Tahir Abshar, the manager of the cricket board in
Lashkar Gah said that the purpose of the event is to help promote the sport of cricket
in the province. The event is scheduled to last 7 days and 9 teams are expected to
participate. The Afghanistan Cricket Board will be notified of the winner, according to
Abshar. The matches will start at 8:00 am local time.

The first match was between teams "Itehad" and "Setara". Setara won the coin toss
and elected to bat first. They made 149 runs for 10 wickets in 32 overs. Itehad made
150 runs in 27 overs with the loss of 3 wickets. The man of the match honors went to
Jamaluddin from the the Itehad cricket team.

Friendly football competition between police and
public held in Helmand province

Last week, in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Afghanistan's Helmand province, a friendly
football competition was held between the local police and the public community.
According to the Lashkar Gah Police Chief, Mohammad Hakim Angar, the event was
held to strengthen bonds and improve cooperation between the police and the public.
Abdul Rahim, the Technical & Administrative Deputy Director of Sports in Lashkar Gah
provided the same reason for holding this event. According to Mr. Rahim, they have
held many other events like this in the past. Mr. Angar commented that activities like
these also help the local police to stay in shape and better protect the public against
dangers and disasters. In the first game, a local public team named "Bost" defeated a
police team. Mr. Angar, the chief of police, participated in the game as well. The game
was played in the playground of the police headquarters.

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