Australia to cancel Afghanistan Test if women barred from sport
The governing body said the first-ever men's Test between the two nations in November was under serious threat after the deputy head of the Taliban's cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, reportedly said women would not play cricket, or any other sport, under the new regime.
"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."
The Taliban said shortly after taking power that the schedule for the Afghanistan men's team would not be interrupted, leading Cricket Australia to announce earlier this month it still hoped to host the landmark match on November 27.
"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."
During their first stint in power, the Taliban banned most forms of entertainment -- including many sports -- and stadiums doubled as public execution venues.
Despite promising to enforce a less strict version of Islamic law this time, the United Nations says women in Afghanistan are being prohibited from leaving home without a male family member and in some areas stopped from working.
"And while we would love to see players such as Rashid Khan play against Australia, hosting this Test match cannot be considered if that same opportunity to play the game is denied to Roya Samim and her teammates."