Pakistan v Afghanistan, one-off ODI: Even Taliban lends support to Afghanistan cricketers | Other Countries Cricket News | ESPN CricinfoSuch is the unifying power of cricket in Afghanistan that even the Taliban sent a message of support to the team ahead of their historic ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah on Friday. The match, which Pakistan won by seven wickets, was Afghanistan's first ODI against a Test-playing nation and the first ODI played between an Affiliate Member of the ICC and a Full Member.
A spokesman for the Taliban contacted the Afghanistan Cricket Board on the morning of the game to wish the team well and assure them they would be remembered in their prayers.
Indeed, the event appears to have unified the Afghanistan nation in unprecedented fashion. The country's president, Hamid Karzai, phoned officials at the ground several times in order to be kept up to date with the scores, while the country's minister of finance, Dr Omar Zakhilwal, estimated that "hardly anybody was not watching" the match. "Nothing has ever brought us together like this," he said.
The power of sport.