Taliban takeover of Afghanistan: The rapidly unfolding situation in Afghanistan has taken everyone by surprise but it’s the implications of a potential Sharia law led by the Taliban that is the cause for concern. The International Cricket Council (ICC) too is also worried about the situation and the future of women’s cricket in the country where the Taliban is expected to impose Sharia law, mandating women to always wear burqa or hijab.
The ICC is currently monitoring the situation and keeping track on the potential changes in Afghanistan’s women’s cricket. As per a report by Cricbuzz, ICC headquarter in Dubai is in touch with Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) in Kabul to try and “fully understand the impact of changes” in the country.
Also Read: T20 World Cup: Ex-coach Lalchand Rajput believes Taliban will support cricket in Afghanistan
Taliban takeover of Afghanistan: While men’s cricket could be spared with the Taliban’s love and support for cricket, women’s cricket is set to get hit hard. The strict Sharia law could see Afghanistan women cricket team getting disbanded even earning ICC status. It was only last year that 25 women cricketers in the country were awarded central contracts as the country was looking forward to have a women’s cricket team. But that may not see the light of day. ACB also organized skill-based camps to help grow the team.
“That was a massive development. We don’t know what now,” a source in ICC women’s cricket told Cricbuzz.
Taliban takeover of Afghanistan: Former Australia women’s team captain Lisa Sthalekar too expressed her concerns about women’s cricket in Afghanistan after Taliban takeover.
“I have not heard from the ICC on what is happening as far as women’s cricket in Afghanistan. But personally, I am concerned about what is happening there,” said Lisa Sthalekar, who is also a member of ICC Women’s Cricket Committee.
Taliban takeover of Afghanistan: ICC only attained full membership in 2017 and thereby Test status playing their first-ever Test against India in Bengaluru. While not having a women’s team could cost them full member status, former ACB CEO Shafiqullah Stanikzai is hopeful of finding a middle path.
“Cricket in Afghanistan began from refugee camps and we have come a long way. With very limited resources, we climbed our way up to full membership. I hope and pray that cricket in Afghanistan continues to grow. For us, it is beyond a sport, a game. Cricket has given us an identity making the image of Afghans around the world optimistic. Through cricket, we convinced the global community to invest in our talent and in Afghan youth. I hope this continues,” Stanikzai told Cricbuzz.
Meanwhile, in men’s cricket T20I captain Rashid Khan and former captain Mohammad Nabi urged for peace while also pleading for support from the international community.