Cricket Australia have threatened to call their one-off Test against Afghanistan should women cricketers be denied to play the game under the new Taliban rule.
Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Taliban's cultural commission, told SBS News on Thursday, September 8, that women don’t need to play the sport because their face and body is not covered.
Australian Sports Minister Richard Colbeck quickly responded to Wasiq’s comments by stating that the one-off Test, scheduled on November 27 in Hobart, will not go as planned should the restriction still stand.
"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 CA 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.
"We thank the Australian and Tasmanian Governments for their support on this important issue."
Australia’s Test team captain Tim Paine also voiced his opinion on the matter, saying that he can't see how Afghanistan can be allowed to compete in next month's T20 World Cup.
"I don't think we want to be associated with countries that are taking opportunities or things off literally half their population," Paine said on his SEN radio show.
"It's sad. We've heard nothing from the ICC, which is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in just over a month's time. I'd imagine it's impossible [for Afghanistan to take part] if teams are pulling out of playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores
"How a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see."
Afghanistan named their squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup recently, but were embroiled in controversy after Rashid Khan decided to step down from captaincy. All-rounder Mohammed Nabi has been named as Rashid’s successor for the time being.
Featured photo: AFP / David Kapernick