Afghanistan women request ICC to help set up a refugee team based in Australia

New Board Members Named to Afghanistan Cricket Board

Seventeen female players, contracted by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) in 2020 before the Taliban takeover, have asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to assist them in setting up a r3egugee team based in Australia in the absence of a national side. After Taliban takeover, the Afghanistan Cricket Board and ICC are not able to recognize the women’s team of Afghanistan. In this condition, the seventeen female players want ICC to help them set up a refugee team based in Australia.

The players made their request in a letter sent to ICC Chair Greg Barclay on Saturday , pleading for “support and guidance” from the game’s governing body to formalize themselves, even as the ACB is unable to recognize them.

The players acknowledged that “due to the government policies of Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Cricket Board and thus the ICC cannot recognize them as a national team of Afghanistan”, and have not demanded to play under an ACB banner or even to be called the Afghan national team. They have asked to be administered by the East Asian Cricket office based at the Cricket Australia as a refugee team. They believe that this will enable them to “represent all Afghan women who dream of playing cricket but are unable to in Afghanistan”.

“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. “A profound sadness remains that we, as women, cannot represent our country like the male cricketers.”

“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,” the letter said. “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.”

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