Hard to see Afghanistan playing T20 World Cup: Tim Paine

Afghanistan Cricket Team

SYDNEY: Australia Test captain Tim Paine on Friday said teams might boycott playing against Afghanistan in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup if the country does not support women’s cricket following the Taliban takeover.

Cricket Australia on Thursday announced that the planned men’s Test against Afghanistan in November would not go ahead if the country does not support women’s cricket.
Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) also said that it fully stands behind the move as the human rights issue in Afghanistan transcends the game of cricket.

Paine backed Cricket Australia and ACA’s said it would be “interesting” to see how a team like Afghanistan is allowed to play an ICC tournament.

Tim Paine
Australian Cricket Captain Tim Paine

“At this stage we’ve heard from CA, the Australian government, the Australian Cricketers’ Association, as yet we’ve heard nothing from the ICC, which I think is fascinating given there’s a T20 World Cup in just over a month’s time and Afghanistan are in that,” Paine said on SEN’s Jack & Painey show as quoted by Sydney Morning Herald.

“It will be interesting to see what happens in that space. Does a team get kicked out of the World Cup?

“We’ve heard literally no comment from the ICC. It will be interesting to see where that lands. But I would imagine it’s impossible if teams are pulling out from playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores then how a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned is going to be very, very hard to see,” he added.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is monitoring the changing situation in Afghanistan and the board will discuss the impact this might have on the continued development of the game in the country.

“The ICC is committed to the long-term growth of women’s cricket and despite the cultural and religious challenges in Afghanistan, steady progress had been made in this area since Afghanistan’s admission as a Full Member in 2017,” an ICC official spokesperson told ANI on Thursday.

“The ICC has been monitoring the changing situation in Afghanistan and is concerned to note recent media reports that women will no longer be allowed to play cricket. This and the impact it will have on the continued development of the game will be discussed by the ICC Board at its next meeting,” the spokesperson added. (ANI)