By Zjan Shirinian

Afghanistan National Olympic Committee President Fahim Hashimy has spoken about sport's ability to unite the nation ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe need for "sport to grow" in Afghanistan has been highlighted by the country's National Olympic Committee (NOC) President as the country enjoys hosting two major sporting events.

The cricket tournament known as Shash Dawish and the third round of the football Premier League have drawn crowds as the nation continues to establish its sporting foundations.

"Afghanistan's Shash Dawish cricket tournament is one of the major events on the sports calendar of Afghanistan," said NOC President Fahim Hashimy.

"Afghanistan NOC welcomes this competition and considers it an effective step towards the development of sport, especially cricket."

He added: "Today, Afghanistan really needs sport to grow.

"Sport can contribute to national unity and lead to progress in the country.

"The Government and the private sector are seriously required to pay full attention to all sections of sport and the athletes of the country."

The 20-20 cricket tournament involves five teams from five different areas and has attracted thousands of spectators.

Meanwhile, the third round of Premier League football is also being contested by five teams from five areas of the country.

President Hashimy, elected four months ago, added: "Setting up programmes in various sports is not only growing sport in general and encouraging the athletes, but also showing the world that Afghanistan is not the country that faced crisis and challenges but also has athletic talent and can bring pride to the country and its people," said Mohammad Fahim Hashimi.