After arriving in Frankfurt's refugee center, Abdullah Zadran was sent to the Don Bosco house in Sannerz after only two weeks. Before that, the local director had made contact with the Riedberg Sports Club, an association in Frankfurt where, in addition to football, basketball and rugby, cricket is also offered and played, cricket being Abdullah's favorite sport.
In Gardez, the young Abdullah's birthplace, in the province of Paktia, 100 kilometers from the capital Kabul, near the border with Pakistan, cricket is the national sport, as it is in India and many other Commonwealth countries. It is a sport similar to baseball where two teams, one in offense and one in defense, try to score points by hitting a tennis-sized ball and running to bases.
Several times a week Abdullah Zadran travels by train to the capital to train or to play with the Riedberg Cricket team. The boy proudly shows a cup given to him by two cricket stars who had come especially from Afghanistan for the award. On the trophy, the inscription: "Best pitcher." In cricket, the pitcher has to throw the ball hard and fast to prevent the opposing player from hitting it into the field with a wooden bat.
In the sports field of the Don Bosco youth center, Abdullah shows his skills. At bat, he strikes the hard leather ball, from which players must protect themselves with appropriate clothes, to avoid injury from the fast-approaching ball. His eyes shine, when he hits the ball with confidence.
Isn't he also interested in soccer (football), so popular in Germany? "With his feet, Abdullah does not have the same capacity; he has much greater skill with his hands. I could imagine him as a goalkeeper," said manager Roland Müller, smiling. After arriving in Germany, Abdullah, young and full of energy, soon graduated from junior high school and also attended several German language courses.
He is now attending the second year of a vocational training course in Carpentry. "At the moment, as part of our integration project, nine young people from Sannerz are attending courses for carpenters, painters and metallurgical workers; fortunately we have received donations," explains the director and head of the formation project, Fr Clemens Schliermann.
Abdullah Zadran regularly keeps telephone contacts with his family – the parents, two sisters and three brothers he had to leave in Afghanistan. He can now speak only with his mother and four of his five brothers. "My father and one of my brothers have disappeared without a trace. They were probably kidnapped by the Taliban," says the boy sadly.
Source: Kinzital Nachrichten Agency