Australia players back board's stance on Afghanistan Test: Finch

Filed on October 6, 2021
Australia's captain Aaron Finch. — AFP file

Cricket Australia threatens to call off match if the Taliban regime ban women from playing cricket

Australia’s players support the country’s board over its threat to call off a Test with Afghanistan if the Taliban regime ban women from playing cricket, white-ball captain Aaron Finch said on Wednesday.

Governing body Cricket Australia said it would cancel the November 27 Test in Hobart if reports women in the South Asian nation would be banned from playing the game were substantiated.

“It’s a really challenging time no doubt, but we’re supportive of Cricket Australia’s position,” Finch told reporters in a media call.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said last month it was committed to women’s cricket though it was awaiting instructions from the government on its future.

The Afghanistan’s men’s squad is preparing for the Twenty20 World Cup in United Arab Emirates and Oman starting on October 17.

Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine said last month teams might refuse to play Afghanistan at the World Cup and questioned how the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport’s global governing body, could sanction their participation in the tournament.

The ICC will discuss Afghanistan and women’s cricket at its next board meeting during the World Cup.

Finch declined to say whether Australia would feel comfortable playing the Afghans at the World Cup where they would not meet unless both teams advance to at least the semifinals.

“That’s an ICC decision,” he said.

“We’re hopeful that things can resolve itself and Afghanistan can play a huge part in international cricket.

“We’ve seen how important they are, the development of their game in Afghanistan no doubt is huge.” —Reuters

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