Hollioake reiterates his commitment to Afghanistan after bomb scare

By Adam Ellis

Adam Hollioake will not be cutting short a two-week coaching stint in Afghanistan after a suicide bomb attack rocked the country’s International Cricket Stadium in the capital, Kabul.

Speaking after last Wednesday’s blast left three dead and five more wounded, the former Essex and Surrey all-rounder revealed his reasoning for staying behind to continue his work in developing cricket nation.

“I wanted to stay until the job was done, I don’t like walking out on anything,” Hollioake said.

“This isn’t a Hollywood movie, this is their everyday life. I wanted to give those people the respect that they are due and that they have afforded me and not make an emotional decision.”

Cricketers and coaches are staying in the country despite last week’s blast following on from larger bombs that were detonated in June and July in Kabul.

Describing the moment the cricket ground was hit the 46-year-old said: “There was a game going on between my team and another team that Andy Moles, another former English county player, was coaching.”

“I was sitting in the safety of the changing room but could feel the vibrations go through my body.

“The protocol is that we have three stages of security. They have to get through the first stage, which this probably was, about 100m from the ground; then there is the second stage, which is about 50m from the ground, and the final stage is about 15-20m from the ground.

“The gentleman was caught at the first checkpoint and, on being caught, he detonated his device and, unfortunately, several of our security and some members of the public were killed.”

Newly-accredited with ICC Test member status along with Ireland, Afghanistan still faces major security concerns after intervention from Western powers earlier this century.

Hollioake stated he would not be rushed into a knee-jerk reaction knowing that Afghanistan’s desire for cricket is felt nationwide.

“I wanted to make an educated decision,” said Hollioake. “I needed to take all the information into account.

“I did that and the decision I made to stay was based on the fact that I was going to be safe.

“You come to this part of the world and you expect it, but these guys are another level. It is an exciting time for them.”

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