Thursday, 23 September, 2021
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Afghan cricket board signals women could still play

Afghan cricket board signals women could still play

Women could still be allowed to play cricket, the chairman of Afghanistan's Cricket Board has claimed to an Australian broadcaster in an apparent backflip on the Taliban's hardline stance.

Azizullah Fazli said the governing body would outline how this would happen "very soon", adding that all 25 of the women's team remained in Afghanistan and had chosen not to leave on evacuation flights.

"We will give you our clear position on how we will allow women to play cricket," he told SBS Radio Pashto late Friday, the broadcaster reported on its English-language website. "Very soon, we will give you good news on how we will proceed."

His comments appear to contradict the deputy head of the Taliban's cultural commission Ahmadullah Wasiq, who told the same broadcaster on Wednesday that it was "not necessary" for women to play sport.

Those remarks saw Australia threaten to cancel a historic maiden men's Test between the two countries, set to take place in Hobart in November.

Despite recent reports that many of the women's team were in hiding in Kabul and that members of the Taliban had come looking for them, Fazli insisted they were safe.

"The women cricket coach Diana Barakzai and her players are all safe and living in their home country," he told SBS.