Cricket Australia to cancel the one-off Test against Afghanistan if Taliban bans women cricket

The Taliban on Wednesday (September 8) said women in Afghanistan don’t necessarily be allowed to take part in any kind of sports, including cricket, as it will “expose their bodies” – the decision has put the one-off Test between Afghanistan and Australia in jeopardy.

Cricket Australia (CA) has on Thursday (September 9) made it clear that Australia will scrap the planned one-off Test match against Afghanistan men’s team slated to start on November 27 in Hobart, if Afghan women are not allowed to play the sport under Taliban rule.

CA said in a statement on Thursday, “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.”

The statement further added, “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 Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) also backed CA’s stance on the matter.

It stated, “What is happening now in Afghanistan is a human rights issue that transcends the game of cricket. And while we would love to see players such as Rashid Khan play against Australia, hosting this Test Match cannot be considered if that same opportunity to play the game is denied to Roya Samim and her teammates.”

The Australian Sports Minister Richard Colbeck has also commented on the matter as he urged the ICC to intervene on the issue. Colbeck said in a statement: “Excluding women from the sport at any level is unacceptable. We urge international sports authorities, including the International Cricket Council, to take a stand against this appalling ruling.”