Taliban stance derails Australia v Afghanistan
A Test match scheduled between Australia and Afghanistan later this year is likely to be cancelled after the Taliban confirmed they would ban women from playing sport.
Cricket Australia has now put its weight behind growing calls to scrap the fixture, threatening to pull the plug following reports the Taliban will not support women’s cricket.
“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,” a Cricket Australia statement 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 planned Test between the two nations’ men’s teams was set to to kick off the Australian summer but now appears on the ropes after the Federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck announced that Afghan athletes would “remain welcome in Australia, but not under the flag of the Taliban”.
“The Australian Government is deeply concerned about reports the Taliban in Afghanistan will ban women playing sport. Excluding women from sport at any level is unacceptable,” Senator Colbeck said in a statement.
“I urge international sport authorities, including the International Cricket Council, to take a stand against this appalling ruling.
“The Taliban’s attitudes towards women and their individual rights should not be accepted by the international sporting community.
“We stand behind the individual sportsmen and women of Afghanistan who have competed with great pride, particularly at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
“They will remain welcome in our country but not under the flag of the Taliban.”
Senator Colbeck is now calling on the International Cricket Council to take a stand, given the Taliban’s position on women’s sport.
Taliban beat women protesting in Afghanistan
It follows calls from Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie, a veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan, to jettison the inaugural Test between the two countries.
Hastie warned playing the match would give the Taliban a “strategic victory through the proxy of sport”.
Spokesman for the Taliban’s cultural commission Ahmadullah Wasiq told SBS News on Wednesday that sport was not a necessity for women and that they risked exposing themselves in the field of play.
“I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket,” he told SBS.
Paine discusses Langer controversy
“Islam and the Islamic Emirate do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed.”
The inaugural Test between Australia and Afghanistan had been scheduled to be played in Hobart this summer.
Tennis world No.1s: As Novak Djokovic breaks record, here is every man to hold top spot since computer rankings were introduced
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
For all the latest Sports News Click Here