Tension is mounting ahead of Pakistan-Afghanistan in the T20 World Cup match on Friday.
Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan has appealed to fans to behave when the two neighbours meet in the T20 World Cup on Friday
Two years ago, Afghan and Pakistani fans clashed after a match in England.
Rashid’s side suffered a defeat, but the result was overshadowed by violence and scuffles inside and outside the stadium.
Players needed security escorts off the pitch as fans poured out of the terraces.
Friday’s game in Dubai could be tense as both teams are undefeated and chasing semi-final places.
A weekend capacity crowd is expected from amongst the huge expatriate population of both nations who live and work in the Gulf.
“Definitely it’s always a good game against Pakistan, but this should remain as a game,” Rashid said on Thursday.
“I request all the fans to stay cool and calm and just enjoy the game. What happened in the 2019 match should not have happened.”
Rashid claimed four wickets and fellow spinner Mujeebur Rahman took five as Afghanistan started their T20 World Cup in style, bowling out Scotland for just 60 in reply to 190-4.
However, the Afghanistan team came into the tournament amid the looming threat of a ban over the Taliban’s hardline stance, particularly against women.
International Cricket Council (ICC) — which makes it mandatory for all member countries to have men’s and women’s teams — said it has been monitoring the situation and will discuss the matter in its meeting in Dubai next month.
Afghanistan cricket chief Azizullah Fazli told AFP at the start of the tournament: “Our government is streamlining things and women’s cricket will also be streamlined.”
Rashid said that the squad is trying just to focus on the tournament.
“We have only the World Cup in mind, we’re playing five games and we need to win three games,” said the 23-year-old.
“We don’t think about what’s happening. We don’t think about what happened in the past. That is something which is not in our hands, it is not in our control,” he said.