Dark clouds are looming over the historic Test between Afghanistan and Australia. The Test was put in Jeopardy post the political turnaround in Afghanistan where the Taliban swept to power. Many feared for the fate of cricket in the country but the new rulers nodded for the men’s cricket activities to continue as normal after which the Test was all set to go ahead. However, as per recent reports, the Taliban has banned women’s cricket, which has not gone well with Cricket Australia (CA) who’ve threatened to boycott the Test.
“If recent media reports that women’s cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but not to host Afghanistan for the proposed Test match due to be played in Hobart,” said Cricket Australia in its statement.
The apex body further said that women’s cricket is equally important for the board and if the Taliban is going to suppress the growth of women’s cricket, they’ll not entertain their men’s team as well. After CA, several cricket boards are likely to follow the same route which could cost Afghanistan their Test status. Afghanistan has shown remarkable improvement and has the potential to become a top Test teams. However, CA’s stand will get Afghanistan cricket into jeopardy. It will be interesting to see if there are any negotiations between CA and the new rulers of Afghanistan. “Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level,” it said.
Afghanistan women’s team was formed in 2010 but was later disbanded due to safety concerns. However, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) revived it by giving contracts to 25 women cricketers.