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Afghan basketball star makes debut in Spain after leaving Kabul

BILBAO, Oct 2 (Reuters) – The captain of the Afghan ladies’s wheelchair basketball workforce made her debut for her new Spanish aspect on Saturday to cheers and applause simply over a month after fleeing Kabul when the Taliban got here to energy.

Nilofar Bayat, 28, and her husband Ramesh Naik Zai, 27, had been supplied the possibility to play for Bidaideak Bilbao BSR, a wheelchair basketball workforce within the northern metropolis of Bilbao. learn extra

They arrived in Madrid from Kabul on Aug. 20 on a flight with 100 different refugees because of efforts by the Spanish authorities and the Spanish Basketball Federation.

“I have never had this much kindness and this much respect. When I saw how welcoming they are… I felt that here can be my second home, I can be very happy here,” Bayat, 28, instructed Reuters after the sport.

It was the primary time Bayat had performed on a combined workforce. On Saturday, she was the one lady enjoying for Bidaideak Bilbao BSR within the aspect’s pleasant match in opposition to Fundacion Vital Zuzenak.

“It was very new for me, in Afghanistan it’s not like this,” she stated. “The teams are very separated and we do not play together, but it was very nice.”

Bayat rolled onto the courtroom to a standing ovation from the group. Afterwards, she and her husband had been offered with flowers.

Writing by Jessica Jones
Editing by Frances Kerry

Afghan national women's wheelchair basketball team captain Nilofar Bayat and her husband Ramesh Naik Zai talk ahead of their debut game for mixed-gender team Bidaideak against Fundacion Vital Zuzenak, in Amurrio, Spain, October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Vincent West

Afghan national women's wheelchair basketball team captain Nilofar Bayat wears a traditional Basque beret following her debut game for mixed-gender team Bidaideak against Fundacion Vital Zuzenak, in Amurrio, Spain, October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Vincent West

Afghan national women's wheelchair basketball team captain Nilofar Bayat plays her debut game for mixed-gender team Bidaideak against Fundacion Vital Zuzenak, in Amurrio, Spain, October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Vincent West