MCC Foundation want to harness Afghan refugees’ love of cricket to help their families build a better life in the UK… with the future of the sport across Afghanistan under threat following Taliban takeover
- MCC Foundation hope to use cricket to help Afghan refugees settle in country
- The Taliban are back in control , threatening the future of Afghanistan cricket
- Many thousands of refugees have therefore fled the country, including to the UK
MCC Foundation hope to use cricket to help Afghan refugees settle in this country.
The Taliban are back in control after 20 years, threatening the future of cricket across Afghanistan.
Many thousands have fled the country, including to the UK, where the MCC want to harness their love of cricket to help families build a better life.
The Taliban are back in control after 20 years, threatening the future of cricket across Afghanistan
Among their ambassadors is Mumtaz Habib, who arrived on these shores from Afghanistan as a teenage asylum seeker in 2000. Habib couldn’t speak English but has since gone on to play first-class cricket via a scholarship to Harrow School.
‘The best thing I can do is share my story with the younger kids coming over who might be a similar age to me,’ he told Sportsmail.
‘There are plenty of opportunities here. All you have to do is work hard, keep your head down. And for MCC Foundation to provide those facilities, those sessions because some of these kids or their parents will not have the access or funds or wouldn’t know where to even start in a different country, coming to a very different culture.
He added: ‘Providing that support to navigate through the UK system, I think, is going to be key to their success.’
But MCC Foundation hope to use cricket to help Afghan refugees settle in this country
Habib points out that securing a passport, employment and benefits can be especially difficult for non-English speakers.
MCC Foundation run 70 hubs across the UK, offering free coaching to around 3,000 players. One, established this year in Croydon, works with the Refugee Cricket Project to provide coaching and mentoring to Afghan children.
‘There’s plenty of help available and we want to make sure every Afghan coming to these hubs is aware,’ Habib added.
‘We’re not here to give them free money. We’re here to help them in whatever they want to achieve.’
Habib still speaks their mother tongue and over the past year he has helped several refugees integrate into their community through cricket.