No ban on women’s sport, especially women’s cricket in Afghanistan: ACB chief

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chairman Azizullah Fazli has said that the Taliban is not stopping women from playing the sport, especially cricket. These comments come from Fazli after there is no cricket being played by women currently in Afghanistan. Ever since the Taliban has swept to power, things have changed in the country as the men’s ODI series against Pakistan got canceled and the team’s one-off Test in Australia too.

Women’s cricket came to a grinding halt and certain reports emerged as to how the 25-centrally contracted women cricketers were hiding safely in Kabul. Former ACB chairman Hamid Shinwari had also stated soon women will get an opportunity to play the sport.  And now, Fazli has stated that the Taliban does not have an objection to women playing the sport.

“We have spoken to the top Taliban government officials and their stance is that there is officially no ban on women’s sport, especially women’s cricket,” Fazli told Al Jazeera.

Azizullah Fafzli further opined that there is no official rule or norms to stop women from playing top-level sports in Afghanistan. “But what we need to keep in mind is our religion and culture. If women adhere to that [attire], there is no problem in them taking part in sporting activities. Islam doesn’t allow women to wear shorts like the other teams do while playing football especially. That’s something we need to keep in mind,” the ACB chief said.

Earlier Cricket Australia (CA) canceled its one-off Test in Hobart due to the Taliban banning women from playing cricket. According to ICC rules and regulations, the top Test-playing nations should have a women’s team playing the sport.