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Cricket is a game of miracles that not only binds fans for their sheer love for the sport but also provides genuine inspirational stories that detail the hardships of the cricketers. 19-year-old Imran Maroof, an Afghan refugee currently residing in England is another such example of a person, whose passion for cricket is paving a new pathway for him.

 Imran Maroof, an Afghan refugee currently in England

Imran Maroof, an Afghan refugee currently in England

The young pace bowler, who has already played for Glamorgan Seconds, lived his dream recently as he got to bowl at the English batsmen in the nets ahead of the third ODI versus Pakistan. Imran’s painful journey to England is, however, rife with adversities as fate finally allowed him a chance to make a career in professional cricket.

He escaped the Taliban at the age of 14 following the kidnapping of his father. “I never met them, I never saw them, we heard them fighting and one day they take my father. I have never seen him again - or heard what happened,” he spoke of the Taliban.

Later, he made long journeys through Iran to Turkey and Eastern Europe before finally landing up in England. Here, by chance his pace bowling skills caught the eye of the Gloucestershire Cricket Board development officer, who offered him a contract, giving him an opportunity at reclaiming his lost years.