Australia Test captain Tim Paine suggested that teams might refuse to play against Afghanistan in the upcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman, owing to Taliban’s recent takeover of the country. Paine was also highly supportive of CA’s consideration of cancelling the Hobart Test.
Taliban’s recent takeover of Afghanistan has impacted the country and citizens in more ways than one. Cricket has had its fair share too, with clouds hovering over the national team’s participation at the T20 World Cup, as well as their scheduled historic Test match against Australia later this year.
Follwoing Cricket Australia’s hinting at the possible cancellation of the latter fixture, owing to Taliban’s opposition to women’s cricket, Tim Paine reflected on how Afghanistan's participation in the upcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman could also be affected.
"At this stage, we have heard from Cricket Australia, we've heard from the Australian government, we've heard from the Australian Cricketers Association," Paine said on Australian radio station SEN.
"But as yet, we've heard nothing from the ICC, which I think is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in a month's time and at the moment Afghanistan are in that.
"It will be interesting to see what happens in that space. Does the team get kicked out of the World Cup?
"I imagine it will be impossible if teams are pulling out playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores, then how a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see."
Paine further stressed that the possibility of the Hobart Test taking place seems all the more bleak now, highlighting Taliban's opposition to women’s game, and to women’s rights in general, as a major factor.
As per the ICC regulations, every Test playing nation has to provide equal access to Women’s cricket. Afghanistan had earned their Test playing status back in 2017.
"(The Hobart Test) is not looking good, we are in a world of trouble no doubt about that, but the reasoning around it is probably fair enough," Paine said.
"There are probably two levels to it. There's the cricket aspect to it from an ICC point of view that to be a Test-playing nation you have to have an international women's team, obviously with the Taliban at the moment banning women from playing any sport and that has implications at an ICC level.
"Secondly from a female, human rights point of view, excluding half of your population from trying to do something is not on.
"I don't think we want to be associated with countries that are taking things or opportunities off literally half of their population."
Afghanistan named their T20 World Cup squad on Thursday, September 9, with Rashid Khan as captain, only for the star spinner to setp down from the role soon after, in protest to the selection.