According to reports, the Taliban has banned women’s sports in Afghanistan after recently taking over the country’s government in August. The reports come after Australia’s SBS TV quotes a spokesperson for the Taliban saying women will be banned from sports playing. They specifically listed cricket as being banned by this group.
The network quoted deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission Ahmadullah Wasiq saying:
“In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this. 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 play the kind of sports where they get exposed.”
They plan to allow men’s cricket to carry on in Afghanistan, but Cricket Australia says they will not carry on the test match if it is true the Taliban will not allow women to play. The test match is scheduled for Nov. 27 in Australia.
In the statement, Cricket Australia said, “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.”
The statement continues, reading, “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.”
Australia’s Sport Minister Richard Colbeck called the decision from the Taliban “deeply concerning,” emphasizing the importance of including women in sports.
“Excluding women from sport at any level is unacceptable,” Colbeck said in a statement. “We urge international sport authorities, including the International Cricket Council, to take a stand against this appalling ruling.”
Women’s soccer players from Afghanistan are among those with visas living in Australia and quarantining because of the COVID-19 pandemic.