The former head of the female side urged that international crickets should support the Afghan men’s team and not penalize them with boycotting matches if the Taliban stops playing women.
Tuba Sangar, who fled for Canada immediately after the country’s fall into the Islamist extremist organization, warned that sports bans would harm grassroots play – particularly women and girls.
“Boycott of the male team is not a good idea. They achieved a great deal for Afghanistan – they made Afghanistan a beneficial contribution to the world, “On Tuesday, Sangar told AFP.
“If we no longer have a male squad, overall cricket would have no chance,”stated the 28-year-old, who was the cricket manager of the Afghanistan Cricket Board from 2014 to 2020.
Cricket chefs in Australia threatened to cancel a historic maiden test between the two countries, scheduled to occur in November, following a senior Taliban leader on TV who said that women had “not to participate.”
Before being expelled in 2001, the Taliban prohibited most entertainment forms—including numerous sports—and public performance arenas during their first term of office.
Women have been prohibited from playing sport.
But in recent decades, the sport has become extremely popular, mainly because of cricket-mad Pakistan over the border.
This time around, the hardline Islamists have proved that they have nothing to do with those who play cricket and play a match in Kabul capital quickly after foreign troops have withdrawn.
But, on Tuesday, Afghan sports director Bashir Ahmad Rustamzai refused to answer if women are allowed to play sports – deferred for high Taliban leaders to decide.
The takeover has questioned the future of Afghanistan’s participation in test matches, as nations must also have an active women’s squad under international Cricket Council law.
The Afghan men’s squad is slated to compete in the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from 17 October to 14 November.
Last week, the Cricket Board of Afghanistan (ACB) begged Australia not to punish its men’s squad by suggesting that it “sightlessly changed Afghanistan’s culture and religious atmosphere.”
Later, ACB President Azizullah Fazli told SBS Radio Pashto that he still had some optimistic women to play.
He said all 25 of the women’s team elected to stay in Afghanistan, even though members of the BBC report were hidden earlier this month.
“I feel like a strong woman when I play. I can envision myself as a woman who can accomplish anything and realize her aspirations”The BBC was told by one ex-player.
However, Sangar added that the Taliban takeover “destroyed the hope” of women cricket to make them eventually play worldwide.
“We didn’t have the opportunity to play internationally from 2014 until now, but it was hoped that everybody was doing their best to do it. There are some girls who are quite skilled and wish to have flags on their shoulders one day to show the world that Afghan women can play cricket.”Tuba Sangar
The men’s squad is now ranked among the top 10 for both one-day international and 2020 games globally.