Melbourne [Australia], September 9 (ANI): 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.
Cricket Australia's chief executive Nick Hockley on Wednesday had said that the call to go ahead with the one-off Test against Afghanistan lies with the Australian federal government.
Hockley also said that the international cricket community is working towards understanding the implications of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan.
"It's an extremely challenging and complex situation," Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia's chief executive, told SEN radio, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
"There are so many layers to it and it really does transcend cricket. The situation as it stands today, is that Afghanistan is a full member of the ICC, they're due to play in the T20 World Cup, but we're working very closely and having all the right discussions with the ICC, with the Australian government and ultimately we'll take our lead from them. We don't yet have answers but we're in dialogue and taking advice from all the relevant organisations," he 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)