Australia will cancel Afghanistan Test if Taliban stops women’s cricket

Cricket Australia said it would not proceed with the planned test starting Nov. 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.

“If recent media reports that women’s cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed test match due to be played in Hobart.”

Australia’s Sports Minister Richard Colbeck said earlier that the Taliban’s decision on women’s sport was “deeply concerning” and he urged organizations such as the International Cricket Council to take action.

“Excluding women from the sport at any level is unacceptable,” Colbeck said in a statement. “We urge international sports authorities, including the International Cricket Council, to take a stand against this appalling ruling.”

Players from Afghanistan’s women’s soccer team are among dozens of athletes given visas to live in Australia and have been undergoing quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.