Cricket Australia set to Cancel Men’s Test Match over Taliban’s ban on Women’s Cricket

On 9th September 2021 Cricket Australia announced on Twitter the probable cancellation of their one-off men’s Test match against Afghanistan scheduled to begin in Hobart on 27th November. The reason for this being, the Taliban in Afghanistan not supporting women’s cricket and decided to put a ban on it.

 

Afghanistan Men's Test in Question
Afghanistan Men’s Test in Question

 

Being an avid supporter and advocate of women’s cricket, Cricket Australia declared, “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.”

“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. We thank the Australian and Tasmanian Governments for their support on this important issue.”

On Wednesday, September 8 2021, the head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq expressed his opposition to women’s cricket while speaking to SBS News, “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.”

Cricket Australia is also thinking of a replacement in the soon-to-be-vacant spot on the seasonal calendar. However, this is not easy due to the border restrictions in Australia. Chief Nick Hockley termed it as an “extremely challenging and complex situation, vowing to take the federal government and ICC’s lead.

The ICC has the power to revoke Afghanistan’s permanent membership status. The council will discuss the issue in its next board meeting once reports of the ban’s confirmation are released. The meeting is scheduled for November.

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It is also reported that the ACB will have a T20 tri-series with Australia and West Indies in early October but, the ban issue’s development makes it seem that the Australian team will withdraw and look elsewhere for a World Cup warm-up match.

The ICC rules state that all the countries having full membership must have a national women’s team. The ACB had handed 25 contracts to the female players in 2020 and the women were set to play their first international, however, the take-over by the Taliban ruined everything for them. Now the female players who were not able to escape the country are believed to be hiding in Kabul in fear.

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