Cricket Australia may cancel their one-off Test match against Afghanistan, to be played from November 27 at Blundstone Arena in Hobart, if the Taliban doesn’t change its stance on women’s cricket in Afghanistan. CA has always been firm in its sport for all stance and the growth of women’s cricket.
The Afghanistan Men’s team was granted Test status in 2017 and they debuted in red ball cricket against India in 2018 where they lost the game by an innings. Originally, this one-off Test between Australia and Afghanistan was supposed to be played before the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in November 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic ensured that the match was postponed indefinitely.
The match was expected to be played this year but there has been a new development. With the Taliban seizing control of Afghanistan again, Cricket Australia have made it clear that they would not host the country as long as Women’s rights were not exercised in the Asian country.
"Driving the growth of women’s cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia," Cricket Australia stated in a statement.
"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."
The Afghanistan Women's team is yet to compete in an ICC-sanctioned match despite an initial squad being formed in 2010 before being disbanded several years later due to safety concerns. The Taliban government cultural spokesperson Ahmedullah Wasiq told Australian Broadcaster SBS News that women cannot be permitted to play cricket under Islamic Law even if it meant the match in Hobart can be at risk.
"Islam and the Islamic Emirate do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed," Wasiq said, reported 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.
"It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it."
The Taliban stance might lead to ICC suspending Afghanistan's membership. However, suspension from the ICC would need the two-thirds of majority votes to go through.