Paine says Australia not keen on playing Test against Afghanistan

Australian cricket team’s Test skipper Tim Paine has said that he wouldn’t want to play against a side which discriminates against half its population, as the wicketkeeper-batsman categorically made his displeasure known that he was not keen on playing Afghanistan in the historic one-off Test in November this year.

The Test between the men’s teams of Australia and Afghanistan looks set to be called off after Afghanistan’s newly-installed Taliban government announced its opposition to women from the Islamic nation playing cricket.

In a statement released on September 9, Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed it would be unable to proceed with the planned Test at Hobart from November 27 if news reports of Taliban views on the women’s game were true.

“Driving the growth of women’s cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia,” the statement said. “Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level.

Paine said on Friday that, “I don’t think we want to be associated with countries that are taking opportunities or things off literally half their population. It’s sad.

“We’ve heard nothing from the ICC, which is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in just over a month’s time. I’d imagine it’s impossible [for Afghanistan to take part] if teams are pulling out of playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores,” Paine said on his SEN radio show.

“How a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see,” added Paine.