Afghanistan cricket: Australia will cancel men's Test if women's team banned

Last update on. From the section Cricket
Taliban rule in Afghanistan may not allow scenes like this one in Herat, 2013.

Cricket Australia (CA), will cancel its Test match against Afghanistan for men if it is confirmed that Afghanistan's women's team can't play under Taliban rule.

The International Cricket Council stated Wednesday that it was concerned about Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Taliban cultural commission's comments.

Wasiq stated to SBS News, an Australian broadcaster: "I don’t believe women will be permitted to play cricket."

CA stated that they support the game "unconditionally" for women of all levels.

They stated that if recent media reports that women's Cricket will not be supported by Afghanistan are true, Cricket Australia would not have any other choice but to host Afghanistan for the test match to be played at Hobart.

Australia was scheduled to host their first ever test against Afghanistan starting 26 November, ahead of the Ashes series which starts on 8 December.

The Taliban has supported the men's team already. However, ICC rules require that all 12 full-time members have a national women’s team. Only full members can play in Test matches.

After Wasiq stated that it was not necessary for women to play cricket, the ICC expressed concern.

"In cricket, they may face a situation in which their face and bodies will not be covered." Islam doesn't allow women to be seen in this way.

According to an ICC statement, the organization "is committed towards the long-term growth and development of women's cricket" and that, despite the religious and cultural challenges facing Afghanistan, progress has been made since Afghanistan was admitted as a full member in 2017.

The statement continued, "The ICC has been closely monitoring the changing circumstances in Afghanistan and is concerned by recent media reports that women won't be allowed to play cricket."

The ICC board will discuss this and its impact on the development of the game at its next meeting.

Three weeks after taking power back, the Taliban named Tuesday a new government, but there are still doubts about the rules.

Hamid Shinwari, chief executive of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), stated that "so far, we don’t have any news form the government," in a telephone interview.

BBC Sport reported last week that many women in the team were hiding in Kabul. They claimed Taliban members have been looking for them.

Two decades ago, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan. Girls were forbidden from school. Women were also banned from working and education.