Thursday Sep 09, 2021
CANBERRA: Cricket Australia has threatened to cancel the Test match with Afghanistan after a senior Taliban official said that women should not be allowed to play cricket as they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered.
The Test match between Australia and Afghanistan was scheduled to be played on November 27.
In an interview with Australia’s SBS News, deputy head of Taliban’s cultural commission Ahmadullah Wasiq said, ”I don't think women should be allowed to play cricket.”
“In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this," SBS News quoted the Taliban official as saying.
“It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed,” he added.
Taliban’s cultural commission head said that they will not violate the Islamic values due to the reaction of the opponents. Islam allows women to go out on the basis of need, he added.
Reacting to the statement, Cricket Australia said, “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.”
The cricket board further said that driving the growth of women’s cricket globally in incredibly important to Cricket Australia.
“Our vision for cricket is that is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level,” said the board.
Australia's Sports Minister Richard Colbeck said earlier that the Taliban’s decision on women's sport was “deeply concerning”.
“Excluding women from sports at any level is unacceptable,” Colbeck said in a statement. “We urge international sports authorities, including the International Cricket Council, to take a stand against this appalling ruling," he added.
A spokesperson of the International Cricket Council said that they were monitoring the evolving situation in Afghanistan. He expressed concerns over imposing a ban on women’s cricket in Afghanistan. The issue will be discussed in the next ICC meeting.