Australia ‘REFUSES’ to play Test cricket match against Afghanistan after the Taliban ‘banned women from playing’ as it ‘shows their bodies’
- Cricket Australia to scrap Afghanistan Test over Taliban ban on women’s sport
- Taliban say women’s bodies could be exposed which is forbidden under Islam
- First ever Test with Afghanistan was due to begin in Hobart on November 27
Cricket Australia appears to have given in to pressure not to play its planned test match with Afghanistan after outrage met Taliban comments mocking and banning women’s sport.
Following the International Cricket Council’s statement expressing concern over the end of women’s cricket in Afghanistan, plus state and commonwealth government reaction, CA said it had ‘no alternative’ but to cancel.
Cricket Australia earlier issued a statement last week saying it planned to proceed with the test after the Taliban said the Afghanistan team could honour existing commitments – despite grave fears over the regime’s treatment of women.
Steve Smith (pictured) and the Baggy Greens now look unlikely to play the planned historic first Test against Afghanistan after heavy pressure was applied to Cricket Australia from the ICC, plus state and Federal government
The Taliban said it was keen for Afghanistan to play Australia in men’s cricket – but later added that women had no need to play any sport and only need to go shopping (pictured, Afghan woman playing cricket in 2015)
The Test was scheduled to begin on November 27 in Hobart.
But outrage followed comments by the Taliban’s culture spokesman, Ahmadullah Wasiq, who told SBS Australia women can’t play any sport because their bodies may be seen.
‘It is the media era and there will be photos and videos and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate do not allow women to play cricket or the kinds of sports where they get exposed.’
‘[Girls] do not need sport. They will get exposed and not follow the dress code and Islam does not allow that.’
He said women only needed to go outside for things such as ‘shopping’ and that Islamic rules would not be changed.
Women’s sports participation in Afghanistan increased after the 2001 fall of the Taliban, but was immediately set back decades as the hardline Islamists steamrolled their way back to power this month.
According to the BBC, female cricketers had been warned by members of the Taliban not to try and play cricket again and that they would be targeted if they did.
The ICC quickly responded with ‘concern’ noting that Afghanistan’s status would now be reconsidered.
‘The ICC is committed to the long-term growth of women’s cricket.’
Women’s cricket was growing in Afghanistan and is strongly supported by the ICC – until the Taliban mocked the idea of it (pictured, a female cricketer in Kabul before the Taliban took power)
The development of women’s cricket has led to superstars such as Australia’s Ellyse Perry (pictured)
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said the Taliban’s comments about women’s sport were ‘a disgrace’ and that the Test should be scrapped.
‘I would hope that under the current circumstances that the ICC and Cricket Australia would make the right decision in this case,’ Mr Gutwein said.
Australian Federal sports minister Richard Colbeck said the Taliban’s comments were ‘appalling’.
Trade Minister Dan Tehan said Australians are ‘absolutely abhorred’ by the idea women can’t play sport and he added that Australia’s sporting codes ‘will have to think about and look at very carefully’.
CA released a statement on Wednesday, coming after pressure piled on it from several other organisations.
An Afghan woman bowls during a game of cricket at the grounds of the stadium in Herat in 2015 (pictured). Women’s sports participation in Afghanistan increased after the 2001 fall of the hardline Islamist Taliban
‘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,’ CA said in a statement.
‘We thank the Australian and Tasmanian Governments for their support on this important issue.
‘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.’
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