An Australian television company SBS TV cited a Taliban voice claiming that their organization in Afghanistan is explicitly banning women’s sports including women’s cricket.
“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,” the network quoted AhmadullahWasiq, the deputy head of the Taliban‘s cultural commission, as saying.
“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.”
“It is the media age and people are watching pictures and videos. Islam and the Islamic Emirate prevent women from practicing cricket other sports of the type where they are exposed.” Wasiq told SBS last month that men’s cricket could continue with the Taliban and the men’s national squad was given clearance to travel to Australia in November to attend the test match.
However, Cricket Australia said in a statement issued Thursday that it would not carry out the planned test from 27 November if Taliban press claims on women’s games were genuine.
Australia’s Sports Minister Richard Colbeck said earlier that the Taliban’s decision on women’s sport was “deeply concerning” and he urged organizations such as the International Cricket Council to take action.
“Excluding women from the sport at any level is unacceptable,” Colbeck said in a statement. “We urge international sports authorities, including the International Cricket Council, to take a stand against this appalling ruling.”
Afghan women’s soccer players are among hundreds of athletes who have been granted permits to reside in Australia and have been quarantined owing to the COVID-19 epidemic. The Taliban declared an all-male temporary administration for Afghanistan on Tuesday, made up of veterans of their hardline reign in the 1990s and the 20-year war against the US-led coalition.
A policy statement accompanying the Cabinet announcement tried to assuage the worries of Afghanistan’s neighbors and the rest of the world, but it was unlikely to assuage the fears of women, who received no posts.
The statement pledged to preserve minorities’ and the underprivileged’s rights, as well as to educate “all compatriots within the framework of Sharia.” The three-page statement made no mention of women.