Women in the city of Herat in Afghanistan pictured playing cricket in 2015.© AFP
While all eyes are on recent developments in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country, recent media reports that women’s cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan has not gone down well with the cricket community. In fact, Cricket Australia has said it will have to rethink playing a Test match against the men’s team if the women’s team is not allowed to play. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is monitoring the changing situation in Afghanistan and the board will discuss the impact this might have on the continued development of the game in the country.
“The ICC is committed to the long-term growth of women’s cricket and despite the cultural and religious challenges in Afghanistan, steady progress had been made in this area since Afghanistan’s admission as a Full Member in 2017. The ICC has been monitoring the changing situation in Afghanistan and is concerned to note recent media reports that women will no longer be allowed to play cricket. This and the impact it will have on the continued development of the game will be discussed by the ICC Board at its next meeting,” an ICC official spokesperson told ANI.
Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday said the planned men’s Test match against Afghanistan in November would not go ahead if the country does not support women’s cricket following the Taliban takeover. “Driving the growth of women’s cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia. Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level,” Cricket Australia said in its official statement.
“If recent media reports that women’s cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match due to be played in Hobart,” it added.
Cricket Australia’s chief executive Nick Hockley on Wednesday had said that the call to go ahead with the one-off Test against Afghanistan lies with the Australian federal government.
Following Cricket Australia’s announcement, Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) on Thursday said that it fully stands behind the move as the human rights issue in Afghanistan transcends the game of cricket.
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