Teams could skip T20 World Cup over Afghanistan: Tim Paine
Tim Paine, Australia’s Test captain, said on Friday that he believes nations would skip the Twenty20 World Cup next month or play Afghanistan because of the Taliban’s alleged prohibition on women participating in sport.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has yet to make the decisions regarding the government’s stance on women and Afghanistan men’s T20 team is still scheduled to play in the T20 World Cup scheduled from October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
As per ICC regulations, those teams who have a Test status should also have an active women’s team. Cricket Australia on Wednesday announced that it would cancel the only Test match against Afghanistan if the Taliban did not change its decision.
Paine added the Australian players fully supported the board’s decision and added that it could lead to consequences in the World Cup.
“I think so. I think it will be something discussed team-by-team,” he said on SEN sports radio when asked if nations would take stand at the tournament.
“To see them pull off the tournament or have countries boycott it will literally, I think, be something that teams will discuss on the eve of that World Cup.
“We’ve heard literally no comment from the ICC so it will be interesting to see where that lands,” he added.
“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 hard.”
According to Cricket Australia‘s statement on their website, ICC would be discussing the matter at the next board meeting, scheduled for November. But that would be after the World Cup.
“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,” it said.
Human rights are more important
Paine gave his comments after Afghanistan’s T20 squad skipper Rashid Khan announced that he will no longer lea the team.
Rashid said that he was frustrated that he was not being consulted on the matter of team selection.
After taking control, the Taliban said that there will be no interruption in the schedule for the Afghan men’s team.
Paine said that giving women their rights was far more important than the Test in Hobart.
“With what’s going on with the Taliban, they are banning women from playing any sport, that has implications at an ICC level,” he said.
“And then secondly, from a female’s point of view, from a human rights point of view, to exclude half your population from being able to do something is not on.
“I don’t think we want to be associated with countries that are taking opportunities off literally half their population.”
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