KABUL: Afghanistan has lost one of its best National Cricket Team players, Najeeb Tarakai. He was 29 years old and succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in eastern Nangarhar province after he had severely received injuries in a traffic accident.
“Afghanistan Cricket Board and Afghanistan Cricket Loving Nation mourn the heartbreaking and grievous loss of its aggressive opening batsman and a very fine human being Najeeb Tarakai,” the ACB said in a statement on Tuesday.
Tarakai was hit by a car on Friday afternoon, the Afghanistan Cricket Board said, adding that he went through an emergency surgery at a hospital in Jalalabad, the capital city of Nangarhar.
Tarakai’s funeral ceremony was held in Jalalabad, where Nangarhar governor, Ziaulhaq Amerkhail, ACB’s officials, national team players and religious clerics participated. He was buried in an ancestral cemetery in the Daronta area of Nangarhar.
Former and incumbent Presidents, Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani, had expressed their condolences and sympathies to the family members of Tarakai. “Tarakai was a talented youth who gained brilliant achievements for his country and people,” Karzai said in a statement. “His death is a great squander for Afghanistan and the cricket board.”
Tarakai’s death also faced widespread reaction by social media users in Afghanistan with many of them expressing sorrow and sadness, wishing him “rest in peace”.
“It is very sad to hear that a top player of the Afghanistan cricket team, Najeeb Tarakai died after sustaining injuries in a traffic accident,” President Ghani was quoted in a statement issued by the government media and information center.
ACB’s spokesman Farid Hotak told Afghanistan Times that the board tried to take him to Kabul or oversea for treatment, but the doctors didn’t allow, considering the severe health condition of Tarakai.
Tarakai was playing as top-order batsman for Afghanistan national cricket team as well as domestic matches. He played 12 T20 international games and one ODI match. He made his first debut at the 2014 T20 World cup in Bangladesh and in the 2017 ODI series against Ireland. Tarakai’s high score in international gems is 90 that he made in a series against Ireland in March 2017. He played 24 first class matches, scoring 2030 runs with an average of 47.20.
Narrowness of the roads, poor infrastructures of the highways, careless driving and technical faults of the vehicles are annually causing thousands of such heartbreaking accidents on the highways across the nation.
The deadly incidents also have roots in no or low control of the traffic officials on these routes.