Rashid Khan "can’t get his family out of Afghanistan" as star pleads for peace

Afghanistan cricket star Rashid Khan has pleaded with world leaders to help bring peace to his home country as the ongoing humanitarian crisis worsens.

Khan, who is Afghanistan's captain in T20 cricket, is currently in England for The Hundred where he is playing for Trent Rockets.

Amid the backdrop of bloodshed as the Taliban seized Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Sunday, Khan not only played for the Rockets but delivered a key performance in their win over Manchester Originals, picking up 3-16 as his side secured qualification for the knockout stages of the competition.

Speaking before the tournament, Khan revealed that he had spent just 25 days at home over the past five years, telling the Guardian : "I don’t get enough time to be with the family".

And Kevin Pietersen, who was on commentary for Sky Sports during the game, said that Khan is "worried" about the situation going on in his homeland and that "he can't get his family out of Afghanistan".

"There's a lot of things that are happening at home," Pietersen said. "We had a long chat here on the boundary talking about it and he's worried: he can't get his family out of Afghanistan and there's a lot of things happening for him.

"For him to turn up and put on a performance like this under the pressure that he is currently under… for him to be able to forget that stuff and navigate his story and continue the momentum that he has – I think that's probably one of the most heart-warming stories of this Hundred so far."

Khan's team-mate, Samit Patel, acknowledged: "He wasn't as upbeat as normal, and that's understandable.

"It's so fresh and we had the game to concentrate on, which was a good distraction for him. He tried to put in a match-winning performance and that comes from his inner self.

"He's 100% committed in any game that he plays. I've been lucky enough to play franchise cricket with him and I know that you cannot fault Rashid Khan – he's an absolute gem to have in any team, in all aspects.

"The way he plays his cricket is full on and that's a credit to Rash. He's a world-class performer."

In the early hours of Monday morning, Khan posted an Instagram story with the Afghanistan flag, a praying hands emoji, two crying face emojis and the caption "Can't sleep".

He also sent an emotional message to world leaders on Tuesday, tweeting: "Dear World Leaders! My country is in chaos,thousand of innocent people, including children & women, get martyred everyday, houses & properties being destructed.

"Thousand families displaced.. Don’t leave us in chaos. Stop killing Afghans & destroying Afghaniatan. We want peace."

Khan is one of four Afghan cricketers who are currently in England for The Hundred, with Mohammad Nabi at London Spirit, Mujeeb Ur Rahaman at Northern Superchargers and Qais Ahmad at Welsh Fire.

Nabi has also called on world leaders to help Afghanistan, tweeting: "As an Afghan, I bleed to see where my beloved country is today.

"Afghanistan descends into Chaos and there has been a substantial rise in calamity and tragedy and is currently in humanitarian crisis.

"I appeal to the leaders of the world; please don't let Afghanistan go into chaos. We need your Support. We want Peace. #PeaceforAfghanistan #FreedomforAfghanistan #StopKillingAfghans"

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