Afghanistan women cricketers urge ICC to help them form a refugee team in Australia

17 female players from Afghanistan have urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to help them in setting up a refugee team based in Australia.

In 2020, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) had awarded contracts to the players. However, the female team, which was formed in 2010, was disbanded in 2021 after the Taliban takeover of the country. The Taliban had banned women from engaging in any sporting activities. As a result, Afghanistan do not have a national women’s team. 

The players have now approached the ICC to bring their career on track. Last week, they wrote a letter to  ICC Chair Greg Barclay, pleading for “support and guidance” from the game’s governing body to formalize themselves.

In the letter, the players acknowledged that they cannot be called the Afghanistan national team or even play under the ACB banner “due to the government policies of Afghanistan”.

However, they made it clear that they want to play and have asked to be administered by the East Asian Cricket office based at Cricket Australia as a refugee team. The players also mentioned that the ICC could help “represent all Afghan women who dream of playing cricket but are unable to in Afghanistan”.

Afghanistan women players’ letter to the ICC:

“We, the formerly contracted players of the Afghanistan Women’s team, are proud and excited by the achievements of Afghanistan at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, and wish to congratulate Rashid Khan and his team on reaching the semi-finals,” the letter read according to ESPNcricinfo.

“A profound sadness remains that we, as women, cannot represent our country like the male cricketers. We want to recruit and train girls and women who love cricket to show the world the talent of Afghan women, and to demonstrate the great victories they can achieve if given a chance through the leadership and financial support of the ICC.

“Our goals in having a refugee team are to develop and showcase our talent, give hope to the women remaining in Afghanistan, and to draw attention to the challenges women of Afghanistan face.

“Like the Afghanistan men’s team, we aim to compete at the highest levels. We want to recruit and train girls and women who love cricket to show the world the talent of Afghan women, and to demonstrate the great victories they can achieve if given a chance through the leadership and financial support of the ICC,” added the letter.

The letter comes just days after the Afghanistan men’s team’s stunning performance in the recently-concluded ICC T20 World Cup 2024. Rashid Khan & Co. stunned the cricketing world by enjoying a historic campaign in the competition. They defeated the likes of New Zealand, Australia, and Bangladesh to qualify for the semifinals.


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