The Taliban claimed on September 8, 2021, that women from Afghanistan cannot participate in sports, including cricket, since such activities would expose their bodies. Women do not need to participate in sports, according to Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy chairman of the Taliban's culture department.
Wasiq, in an interview to SBS News, said, “I don't think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket. In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this. It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed.”
This announcement came in the wake of queries about whether Afghan women will be allowed to participate in international cricket tournaments or not. The Afghanistan Cricket Board issued central contracts to twenty-five female cricketers in November 2020. (ACB). In Kabul, it also hosted a 21-day training camp for 40 female cricketers. Only full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) are permitted to play Test matches, and all 12 of the ICC's full members must have a national women's squad.
Wasiq stated the Taliban would not compromise on their stance, even if no women's cricket meant the ICC would cancel the Hobart Test. “Even if we suffer difficulties and issues, we have battled for our religion to ensure that Islam is followed. We will not go against Islamic ideals, even if it results in negative consequences. We will not deviate from our Islamic principles,” he said.
The Taliban also announced earlier this week that only a woman teacher would be allowed to teach female students, but that if it was not possible, “old men” of excellent repute might fill in.
Image Source: The Guardian