Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Thursday that the historic first Test match against Afghanistan would be cancelled unless the Taliban backtracks on a stated restriction on women participating in sports.
The first-ever men’s Test between the two countries, scheduled for November, is in jeopardy, according to the governing body, after the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, reportedly stated that women would not be allowed to play cricket or any other sport under the new regime.
Wasiq told Australian channel SBS on Wednesday, “I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary for women to play cricket.”
“In cricket, people may find themselves in a scenario where their face and body are exposed. Women are not allowed to be viewed in this way in Islam.
“We live in the media era, so there will be photos and films, and people will view them. Women are not allowed to play cricket or other sports that expose them under Islam or the Islamic Emirate.The Taliban announced quickly after taking power that the Afghanistan men’s team’s schedule would not be disrupted, prompting CA to announce earlier this month that the historic match would still be held on November 27.
The Australian cricket governing body stated on Thursday that promoting the growth of women’s cricket throughout the world was “very essential” to the organisation.
“Our aim for cricket is that it is a sport for everyone, and we absolutely support the game for women at all levels,” it stated. “If recent media rumours claiming that women’s cricket would not be encouraged in Afghanistan are true, Cricket in Afghanistan will be in jeopardy.”Australia would have no choice but to refuse to welcome Afghanistan for the upcoming Test Match in Hobart.”
The Taliban outlawed most forms of entertainment, including several sports, during their first term in office, and stadiums were used as public execution sites.Despite promises to impose a less rigorous form of Islamic law this time, the United Nations reports that women in Afghanistan are barred from leaving the house without a male family member and are restricted from working in some places.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) stated that it “unambiguously” endorsed the position of the CA.
The ACA noted in a statement on Twitter that “what is happening currently in Afghanistan is a human rights issue that transcends the game of cricket.” “While we would love to see players like Rashid Khan play against Australia, hosting this Test match cannot be considered if Roya Samim and her team are denied the same opportunity to play the game.