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Sports Bulletin

Cricket09 Sep 2021
Australia to cancel Afghanistan Test over Taliban stance on women cricket

JAMIL SIRAJ

Sydney, Australia (September 9, 2021):-The Cricket Australia stands by its “sport for all' mantra and says if Taliban will not support women's cricket in Afghanistan, CA will have no alternative to call off the Hobart Test.

The planned historic maiden men's Test between Australia and Afghanistan appears almost certain to be cancelled after the newly constituted Taliban government had been opposing the women cricket in the Islamic nation.

In a statement released today, Cricket Australia confirmed it would be unable to proceed with the planned Test at Hobart's Blundstone Arena from November 27 if news reports of Taliban views on the women's game would true.

"Driving the growth of women’s cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia," the statement said. "Our vision for the 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 not good. Cricket Australia would have no alternative to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match in Hobart. "We thank the Australian and Tasmanian Governments for their support on this important issue."

Spokesman for the for the Taliban government's cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, had told Australian broadcaster SBS News that cricket was not permitted for women under Islamic law. "Islam and the Islamic Emirate do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed," Wasiq said.

"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."

He also noted that, despite the Taliban's previously stated support for the Afghanistan men's team in international cricket, their stance on the women's game would not soften even if it placed the historic maiden Test against Australia in Hobart at risk. "We have fought for our religion so that Islam is to be followed," he told SBS.

"We will not cross Islamic values even if it carries opposite reactions. We will not leave our Islamic rules."

In the wake of those comments, Australia's Federal Sports Minister Senator Richard Colbeck urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take a stand against the Taliban's position, and added that while Afghans would remain welcome in Australia that would not be the case "under the flag of the Taliban".

In speaking with ABC Radio this morning, Senator Colbeck said no decision had been made on whether visas would be granted to members of the Afghanistan men's team if the scheduled Test in Hobart goes ahead.

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