Azizullah Fazli, the acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), said that they will give a clear position on how women’s cricket can be played in the country. He also said that all 25 players of the women’s team were in Afghanistan and did not leave the country on evacuation flights.
“We will give you our clear position on how we will allow women to play cricket. Very soon, we will give you good news on how we will proceed,” Fazli told SBS Radio Pashto late on Friday, which was published on its English-language site.
Fazli’s latest comments to SBS contradict what Ahmadullah Wasiq, the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, said to the same radio broadcaster on Wednesday.
Wasiq had then said that it was not necessary for women to play sport, including cricket. “In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered,” said Wasiq.
Fazli also said that the women cricketers were safe in their homes. “The women cricket coach Diana Barakzai and her players are all safe and living in their home country. Many countries have asked them to leave Afghanistan, but they have not left Afghanistan, and at the moment, they are in their places,” said Fazli.
Fazli has requested Cricket Australia (CA) not to cancel the men’s Test between the two teams scheduled to take place in Hobart in November. “We request Cricket Australia that they shouldn’t delay the historic cricket match between Afghanistan and Australia taking place.”
Wasiq’s remarks led to a huge doubt over the Hobart Test being cancelled if Taliban continued with its ban on women’s sport. Under International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations, 12 full member nations with Test status must also have a women’s team actively involved in the game.