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  Baseball is latest craze in Afghanistan
Updated 19 August 2002, 21.51
The boys have formed two teams, the Afghan Club and the Eagles
Teenagers in Afghanistan are getting hooked on a new sport - baseball.

Two teams of boys now play the sport every Friday, and their crowd of fans is getting bigger every week.

The boys are being taught the game by a group of American soldiers, who are in Afghanistan hunting members of the Taleban and al-Qaeda groups.

Tent peg

Village children flock to the baseball games
The two teams are called the Afghan Club and Shaheen (Eagles).

Lots of Afghan kids already play football and cricket, but they were keen to play a new sport.

When they started out, the teams made do with sandbags to mark the bases and a giant tent peg was used for a bat.

'My favourite game'

Afghan catcher Habib Rachmon of the Afghan Club
But now they've really got into the game, the boys are using proper aluminium bats, gloves and balls, which have been donated by the soldiers' families and friends.

Afghan teenager, Abdul Hameed, said: "I am very happy to come here and play. This is my favourite game."

Girls' team

A translator helps the soldiers coach the boys, but they're starting to learn each other's languages now too.

The soldiers hope to start up a girls' team as soon as they get more equipment.

Watch/ListenBORDER=0
Hear StoryHear Story
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More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutThe war in Afghanistan
Find OutChildren: life under the Taleban
QuizAfghanistan quiz

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Crowd trouble spoils Afghan soccer match
Taleban's telly ban comes to end
Thousands rush to Kabul cinema
Two million Afghan children go back to school

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