ACA stands behind CA, says human rights issue in Afghanistan transcends game of cricket

·2-min read
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Sydney [Australia], September 9 (ANI): Following Cricket Australia's announcement that the planned men's Test against Afghanistan in November would not go ahead if the country does not support women's cricket following the Taliban takeover, Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) on Thursday said that it fully stands behind the move as the human rights issue in Afghanistan transcends the game of cricket.

"The ACA unequivocally endorses Cricket Australia's statement on the upcoming Test match against Afghanistan. What is happening now in Afghanistan is a human rights issue that transcends the game of cricket," the ACA said in its statement.

"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," it added.

Earlier on Thursday, Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday said that the planned men's Test match against Afghanistan in November would not go ahead if the country does not support women's cricket following the Taliban takeover.

"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," Cricket Australia said in its official statement.

"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," it added.

Afghanistan's Test against Australia is due to take place on November 27. Earlier this week, Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein had cited his concerns about the fixture and said he would seek guidance from the local Hazara community.

It needs to be seen what happens to Afghanistan's women's cricket team following the Taliban takeover over the country. Under ICC rules, all member nations have to provide equal access to the sport for males and females.

"I think it's something that is being keenly followed and observed. I think here in Australia, we've been a real driving force in growing cricket for women and girls. Absolutely we want to see cricket for women and girls growing and strong all around the world. As I said previously, obviously the current situation is very new, international cricket is working to understand the implications, but it is something we will continue to watch very closely," said Hockley.

After the fall of the Republic of Afghanistan, the Taliban on Tuesday formed the interim "Islamic Emirate", appointing hardliners in its new government who oversaw the 20-year fight against the US-led military coalition. (ANI)

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