The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 witnesses the ninth match featuring India and Afghanistan. Notably, the Afghanistan team is observed donning black armbands during the game. This gesture serves as their expression of grief for the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that shook Afghanistan on Wednesday, October 11, in a region where previous tremors had claimed the lives of over 2,400 people just days before.

Prior to the commencement of the match, both teams and the Arun Jaitley Stadium itself paid their respects to the earthquake victims with a solemn two minutes of silence. Afghanistan’s star cricketer, Rashid Khan, has made a noble pledge to donate his match fees from the ICC Cricket World Cup towards assisting the victims of the devastating earthquake that rocked his homeland over the weekend. Asghar Afghan also called for aid from ICC and cricketers around the world for earthquake-affected Afghanistan in an emotional Twitter post. 

The seismic jolt, measuring a formidable 6.3 on the Richter scale, struck Herat in western Afghanistan, inflicting a heart-wrenching toll of over 2,400 lives lost, more than 2,000 individuals injured, and the destruction of no less than 1,300 homes. This calamity unfolded just 16 months following another major earthquake that hit the country in June 2022, leading to a tragic loss of 1,000 lives.

A shaky start to Afghanistan’s World Cup hopes 

Afghanistan’s entry into the ICC World Cup 2023 was less than stellar, suffering a resounding defeat at the hands of Bangladesh. Their batting line-up faltered as they were bundled out for a mere 156 runs. Under the leadership of Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afghanistan is eager to make a resounding comeback in their fixture against India.

Their innings got off to a promising start, with Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran (22) displaying exquisite strokeplay. However, Zadran’s wicket was claimed by a peach of a delivery from Jasprit Bumrah. The team is now focused on settling in and providing a sturdy foundation for building a substantial total. 

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