With the Taliban refusing to allow women to play cricket, Australia captain Tim Paine claimed the prospects of their first-ever test against Afghanistan going forward are “not looking good,” and questioned why the game’s governing body had kept silent on the subject.
Australia’s men’s squad is scheduled to play Afghanistan in Hobart on November 27, but Cricket Australia announced on Thursday that they would not host the team if rumours that women’s cricket would not be supported in the country were confirmed.
Paine also criticized the International Cricket Council for remaining silent in the face of Afghanistan’s participation in the Twenty20 World Cup, which begins on October 17 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
“(The Hobart test) isn’t looking good,” Paine said on SEN radio. “We’re in a world of trouble, no doubt about it, but the rationale surrounding it is probably fair enough.”
“It’s most likely on two levels. From an ICC perspective, becoming a test-playing nation necessitates having an international women’s squad, which is obviously complicated by the Taliban’s current prohibition on women participating in any sport, which has ramifications at the ICC level.
“Second, from a human rights standpoint, prohibiting half of your community from participating in anything is not acceptable.
“I don’t think we want to be linked with countries that deprive literally half of their population of products or chances.”
Under the current circumstances, Paine said he couldn’t see how Afghanistan could be allowed to participate in an ICC tournament.
“At this point, we’ve had communication from Cricket Australia, the Australian government, and the Australian Cricketers Association,” Paine added.
“But we haven’t heard anything from the ICC yet, which I find fascinating given that the T20 World Cup is coming up in a month and Afghanistan is now competing in it.
“It will be fascinating to see what transpires in that location. Is the team eliminated from the World Cup?
“I suppose it will be impossible if teams refuse to play against them and countries refuse to allow them to travel to our shores; how a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC sanctioned event will be extremely difficult to see.”