- Australia’s swift decision to strike hard upon the Taliban’s misogynist sports policy is bound to pressurize other sports bodies and boards around the world to follow suit and make the Taliban back off
- Australia has set an example by scrapping a scheduled test match with the Afghan men’s cricket team that is bound to fill the Afghan youth with anger and resentment against the Taliban.
- The move by Cricket Australia is laudable and exemplary which is bound to wallop the Taliban’s worldwide campaign of seeking legitimization.
Australia has dealt a big blow to the Taliban’s ambitions of seeking legitimization of its government through its hard-hitting cricket diplomacy. Australia’s cricket board (Cricket Australia) said on Thursday that it will scrap a planned test match against the Afghanistan men’s team if the Taliban-ruled country does not allow women to play the sport. It condemned a Taliban spokesperson who believed that “sports for women are not necessary and it would be against Islam if women players faced a situation where their face and body might be uncovered” by saying that the growth of women cricket is “incredibly important” to the Cricket board.
Australia’s swift decision to strike hard upon the Taliban’s misogynist sports policy is bound to pressurize other sports bodies and boards around the world to follow suit and make the Taliban back off. In particular, if the Indian cricket board, Board of Control for Cricket in India, goes on to press the Taliban with similar sanctions; it could unleash a wave of anger against the Islamist rulers at the hands of a very active and thriving Afghan sports community.
Afghans’ love for the sport has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years, especially after the Taliban was ousted by the US invading forces in 2001. Afghan refugees in Pakistan had taken the sport back to their home country in the 1990s and the sport became extremely popular afterwards. In 2001, Afghanistan’s national cricket team was formed and the International Cricket Council (ICC) bestowed the group with “affiliate status” the same year. It was only in 2017 when the Afghan cricket board awarded Afghanistan with a full “test” status.
However, now the hard-earned global status is at the brink of an all-out collapse. Afghanistan’s stupendous performance at the 2018 Asia cup filled Afghan youth and the sports community with joy and the hope that the country will soon bring the World Cup home. The remarkable journey of the Afghan cricket team inspired countless Afghans to strive for playing for their country at the international level.
Rashid Khan’s extraordinary IPL career aspired millions of cricket lovers in Afghanistan to cherish the dreams of representing their nation on foreign soil. All their dreams have now been quashed by the Taliban. Even Rashid Khan, the role model of millions of cricket lovers in Afghanistan and around the world, has announced his decision to step down as Afghanistan captain following the recent developments in his country.
Australia has set an example by scrapping a scheduled test match with the Afghan men’s cricket team that is bound to fill the Afghan youth with anger and resentment against the Taliban. If other boards go on to follow suit, and they must, it is going to stir tremendous troubles for the Taliban’s already fragile sway over the country. The move by Cricket Australia is laudable and exemplary. It is not just going to further isolate Afghanistan’s ruling extremist militant group but also wallop its worldwide campaign of seeking legitimization.