Afghan attack victim asked to be Irish cricket team mascot

Abdul Ahmadzai and family invited to game against Afghan side in Stormont on July 10th

 

Teenager Abdul Ahmadzai, one of the three Afghans assaulted near Rathfarnham last week, has been asked to be the Ireland team mascot at the open cricket game against Afghanistan this summer.

The 13-year-old and his two uncles, Naqeeb Ahmadzai (18) and Fazal Ahmadzai (20), said they were punched in the face, kicked and beaten unconscious by a gang of men as they were cycling home from Marlay Park in Rathfarnham last Thursday evening.

At a rally organised by the local community and United Against Racism last Monday, Abdul told The Irish Times he was grateful to people for their kindness since the attack.

“I love Ireland, the people have always been very kind to me. I want to stay here. My dream is to play cricket for Ireland one day,” he said.

“I train every day.”

Cricket Ireland have since invited Abdul and his family to the game in Stormont on July 10th.

Abdul will get to meet the team, accompany the captains of the Irish and Afghan teams to the coin toss and get photographs taken.

‘We were horrified’

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said when the organisation realised the family were cricket fans, it wanted to do something to help.

“We were horrified to read of the appalling attack on Abdul, Naqib and Fazal,” he said.

“We know how passionate cricket fans from Afghanistan are, so we hope they’d appreciate watching the Ireland team play the Afghan team later this summer in Belfast.

“Most of all, we send them our very best wishes and hope they all have a very speedy recovery.”

A man aged 21 has been freed on bail after appearing in court charged in relation to the assault.

Joseph Connors, from Daletree Place, Ballycullen, Co Dublin was arrested on Tuesday and held at Blackrock Garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

He appeared before Dún Laoghaire District Court on Wednesday charged with assault and was remanded on bail to appear again in court on July 26th, 2016.

Gardaí are seeking three other men in connection with their investigation into the attack.