Afghanistan women to be banned from sports: Taliban
New Delhi, Sep 09: Afghanistan women will be banned from participating in sports, including cricket, Ahmadullah Wasiq, the deputy head of the Taliban's cultural commission, said in an interview with Australia's SBS TV.
Since women cannot play sports without fully covering their bodies, the new regime is going to ban them from taking part in sports. "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," the network quoted Ahmadullah Wasiq, the deputy head of the Taliban's cultural commission, as saying.
The development does not come as a surprise as the Taliban deems women's sport 'un-Islamic.' Hence, many female athletes fled after the hardline Islamist group came back to power.
While the Taliban would allow men to participate in sports, the hardline Islamist group is imposing restrictions on women. He said, "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."
Last month, Ahmadullah Wasiq had told that the new regime will allow the men's team to participate in a test match against Australia in November.
However, Cricket Australia, in a statement on Thursday, said that it would call off the test if the Taliban bans women from playing cricket. "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," the press release added.
Earlier, Australia's Sports Minister Richard Colbeck urged the International Cricket Council to take action if the Taliban government bans women's cricket.
"We urge international sport authorities, including the International Cricket Council, to take a stand against this appalling ruling," he added.
On Tuesday, the Taliban announced its new government with Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund as the interim Prime Minister and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Mullah Abdus Salam will be his deputies.
Although the Taliban had earlier promised to honour women's rights within the norms of Islamic law, the formation of an all-male interim Taliban government has left other countries "concerned."