Australian cricketer Tim Paine has backed Cricket Australia’s decision to scrap off the one-off Test against Afghanistan after the Taliban banned women from playing cricket. Paine doesn’t think that Afghanistan should be allowed to participate in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup amidst the ongoing state of affairs in the country. Paine is rather surprised over ICC’s silence on the matter given the fact the tournament is just a month away from its start.
“I don’t think we want to be associated with countries that are taking opportunities or things off literally half their population.”
“We’ve heard nothing from the ICC, which is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in just over a month’s time. I’d imagine it’s impossible [for Afghanistan to take part] if teams are pulling out of playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores. How a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see,” he added.
Tim Paine further stated that banning women from participating in sports is a human right violation and thus backed Cricket Australia’s decision to shelve the one-off Test against Afghanistan.
“(The Hobart Test) is not looking good, we are in a world of trouble no doubt about that, but the reasoning around it is probably fair enough,” Paine said.
“There are probably two levels to it. There’s the cricketing aspect to it from an ICC point of view that to be a Test-playing nation you have to have an international women’s team, obviously with the Taliban at the moment banning women from playing any sport and that has implications at an ICC level.”
Recently, Afghanistan announced their squad for the ICC T20 World Cup with Rashid Khan at the helm. However, minutes after the announcement, Rashid Khan stepped down from the captaincy. He later updated on social media that he wasn’t consulted before picking the squad and therefore decided to step down from the role. Meanwhile, Mohammad Nabi has been made the new captain of the team. Afghanistan is placed alongside India, Pakistan, and New Zealand and two qualifying teams in the Super 12s.