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India vs Afghanistan: ‘Kabuliwala’ Salim Durani thrilled to get an invite from Afghans


He is a free-flowing player. He has the quality [to hit sixes at will], but he will have to practice a lot for that. I too had to practice very hard,” said Durani

India vs Afghanistan: 'Kabuliwala' Salim Durani thrilled to get an invite from Afghans

Salim Durani

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were lauded for their heart-warming gesture to make former India cricketer Salim Durani, 83, give away a special memento to the Afghanistan team for making their foray into Test cricket. Durani, who is the only Indian cricketer to be born in Kabul, did the honours at the toss where he congratulated Afghanistan skipper Asghar Stanikzai.

Durani left Kabul for India in 1937 when he was just three, along with his father Abdul, who was born in Kabul but later shifted base to Pakistan. While Abdul left India, Durani stayed back with his mother in Gujarat. Though Durani has no memories of Kabul, he was thrilled to get an invitation from the Afghanistan Cricket Board. “I plan to visit Kabul. I am happy to receive an invitation from them. I know a bit of Pashto [one of the two official languages of Afghanistan]. I wished them luck for the Test,” Durani said on the sidelines of the historic Test played at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here.

Durani, who had the unique ability to hit sixes at will, felt Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan too has it in him, after watching the southpaw demolish the Afghanistan attack on the opening day. “He [Dhawan] plays with authority. He is a free-flowing player. He has the quality [to hit sixes at will], but he will have to practice a lot for that. I too had to practice very hard,” said Durani.

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