Some Board Directors of the International Cricket Council (ICC) are reportedly urging the organization to resolve the issues surrounding Afghanistan cricket. The sport has reached a fragile state in the Taliban-occupied nation, with women’s cricket on the precipice.
The Taliban’s strict guidelines for women are well-documented and those rules currently bar Afghanistan women from playing cricket. To remain as a full-member of the ICC’s scheme of things, a nation is required to field both the men’s and women’s teams. Consequently, Afghanistan’s cricketing status is at high risk despite a plea submitted by the cricketing board. It seems highly unlikely that the Taliban will change their stance, at least not without any prominent intervention.
That sort of intervention is what the ICC’s board members would like to see. The ICC has a board meeting scheduled for November, but many feel that it will be too late by then, and instead desire quick swift action. An ICC Board Director told Forbes:
“The ICC is vague on a lot of issues and what it actually stands for. It needs to step in otherwise individual countries will be making individual decisions. I’m not sure the ICC as an institution is strong in being decisive.”
Another board director claimed that much like in all matters, the BCCI’s opinion on the matter will play a huge impact on the final verdict.
“The BCCI will be critical in what decisions will be made.”
It may cause a problem with the Olympic bid: ICC Board Director
Some in the ICC also fear that the ongoing tussle in Afghanistan paints cricket in a bad light, which, as a result, could go on to impact the sport’s Olympic ambitions. The ICC are plotting to have cricket at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and are said to be preparing a $3 million bid to reintroduce the sport into the biggest sporting event on the globe.
“It may cause a problem with the Olympic bid but it will probably depend on how the ICC handles it.”
Australia’s men’s team have already boycotted their scheduled one-off Test against Afghanistan. They are said to be considering not playing their fixture against the nation in the T20 World Cup as well, due to the Taliban’s stance against women competing in sports.