The chairman of Afghanistan’s Cricket Board has claimed to an Australian broadcaster that women could still be allowed to play the game of cricket. Azizullah Fazli said that the ACB will soon give a clear picture of how they will allow women to play cricket.
“We will give you our clear position on how we will allow women to play cricket,” he told SBS Radio Pashto late Friday, the broadcaster reported on its English-language website. “Very soon, we will give you good news on how we will proceed.”
Notably, this comment by the chairman of Afghanistan’s Cricket Board comes in as a contradictory statement as the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission Ahmadullah Wasiq told the same broadcaster on Wednesday that it was “not necessary” for women to play any kind of sports.
After those remarks, Australia threatened Afghanistan to cancel a historic maiden men’s Test between the two countries, set to take place in Hobart in November. The Australian red-ball captain Tim Paine even said that he believes teams could pull out of T20 World Cup 2021 in protest, or boycott playing Afghanistan.
Do not isolate us and avoid penalizing us: Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) to Cricket Australia (CA)
Meanwhile, in a statement, the ACB requested Australia not to punish, Afghanistan national cricket team over the Taliban’s apparent ban. And stated it was “powerless to change the culture and religious environment of Afghanistan. Do not isolate us and avoid penalizing us,” it added.
Notably, Cricket Australia (CA) stated in a brief comment on Saturday that it remained in a formal discussion with the Afghanistan Cricket Board and “we made our position very clear in the statement”.
This was in a reference to a statement released by Cricket Australia on Thursday which stated: “the game unequivocally for women at every level”, adding that it would have “no alternative” but to cancel the Hobart Test if the Taliban banned women playing sports.
According to the rules and regulations of the International Cricket Council (ICC), a nation with the Test status must also have an active women’s cricket team. Afghanistan’s position as a full member after the Taliban takeover in the country was set to be discussed at the ICC’s next board meeting in November. However, Australian media has stated the governing body had brought it forward within the next fortnight.
Several reports came that many of the women’s teams were hiding in Kabul when the members of the Taliban came to search for them, Azizullah Fazli revealed that they were safe. He also added that many countries asked them to leave Afghanistan but they didn’t leave their nation.
“The women cricket coach Diana Barakzai and her players are all safe and living in their home country,” he told SBS.
“Many countries have asked them to leave Afghanistan, but they have not left Afghanistan, and at the moment, they are in their places.”