With all the tension doing the rounds in Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Cricket Board is skeptical about its women’s cricket as it expects the incoming Taliban authorities to block plans to create a national women’s team.
Afghanistan women’s cricket team is one of the 12 full members of the ICC, which means that the country is required to have a national women’s team.
Speaking to the Sports Desk podcast, Hamid Shinwari, chief executive of the national board, said, “I think it will be stopped – that is my assumption. I really don’t know what the position will be in the future. We have kept the salaries and they are on our payroll. If the government decides that we don’t go with the national women’s team, we will have to stop it.”
Twenty five female cricketers were awarded contracts in November 2020. However, the team has not played even a single international game. Afghanistan has not entered a women’s team to compete in any ICC regional tournament, but awarding contracts was a part of encouraging women’s cricket and a way for developing a national side.
During their previous rule, from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban stopped girls from receiving any form of education, while women were unable to work or leave the house without being accompanied by a male relative. They have since promised to respect the rights of women in the country “within the framework of Islamic law”.
Shinwari said, “Women’s cricket is pretty new in Afghanistan so I really don’t know how much impact it will have on progress in the country. It is up to the government to decide and as an employee, we go ahead with the rules and regulations.”
He further added, “The board were committed to playing their limited-overs series against Pakistan in September and had received messages of support from the Taliban. They are there to support us whenever there is a need. For the time being all is relatively good. We are going ahead with our schedules and activities. We haven’t seen any impediments so far.”