Afghanistan cricket: Australia postpone men's Test over uncertainty about women's team

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Taliban rule in Afghanistan may not allow scenes like this one in Kabul, 2010.

Australia has delayed this month's men’s Test match against Afghanistan in Hobart, until the situation with women's cricket in Afghanistan's Taliban regime is clarified.

Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Taliban cultural commission, said that he was skeptical about "women being allowed to play".

Cricket Australia (CA), had considered cancelling 26 November's Test.

CA stated, "Given the current uncertainty, CA felt that it was necessary to postpone."

The governing body of Australian cricket said that it was "committed" to supporting the growth of the game in Afghanistan for women and men.

"After extensive consultation with all relevant stakeholders, Cricket Australia has agreed to postpone their inaugural men's match against Afghanistan," continued CA.

The Test match at Hobart was Australia's first against Afghanistan. It was part of preparations for the Ashes series, which starts on 8 December.

Afghanistan's men's cricket team has received support from Taliban - however, under International Cricket Council rules, all 12 full members must have a national team for women. Only full members can play in Test matches.

After Wasiq stated that "I don’t think women will play cricket" (which was a concern), the ICC expressed concerns.

"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.

The status of the country is being discussed by the global governing body for cricket during the ongoing T20 World Cup in Dubai.

BBC Sport reported in September that many women in the team were hiding in Kabul. They claimed Taliban members had already arrived to search for them.

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

CA stated that it was looking forward to hosting players from Afghanistan in Australia's T20 competition, Big Bash League.

The board stated that it is looking forward to hosting the Afghan men's and women's soccer teams in the "not too distant future".