‘There are cultural and religious reasons’ – ICC patiently waiting for Afghanistan to work on women’s cricket

‘There are cultural and religious reasons’ – ICC patiently waiting for Afghanistan to work on women’s cricket

Greg Barclay, the ICC chairman, on Monday, said that due to religious and other factors, the changes are being delayed.

Afghanistan women
Afghanistan woman. (Photo by AREF KARIMI/AFP via Getty Images)

The International Cricket Council is facing a massive challenge with women’s cricket in Afghanistan not making enough progress. The Afghanistan Cricket Board has assured the ICC of taking steps regarding the matter, but the apex cricket council is yet to see any significant development.

The fact that Taliban government took control of Afghanistan in August has made things even more complicated. After getting the full-member status back in 2017, the Afghan men’s team have plied their trade all around the globe in major world events, but women’s cricket has kept staying behind.

Of late, the ICC has formed a working committee to review the progress made by the ACB, but not much of a progress has taken place. Greg Barclay, the ICC chairman, on Monday, said that due to religious and other factors, the changes are being delayed.

Barclay also said that the ICC will keep helping Afghanistan in their various programmes in both men’s and women’s cricket.

Let’s just wait and see, says ICC chairman

“There are cultural and religious reasons. It is a challenging situation. It was before August as well. All we can do is to continue monitoring the situation. Hopefully things will settle down, we’ll be able to see women’s cricket continue to grow. We accept it’s coming off a very low base, there’re cultural and religious reasons for that.

“There was slow but perceptible progress being made prior to August. We’d like to see that continue. We’re getting some messages that will be the case, that a commitment will be made to the women’s game. So, let’s just wait and see,” Barclay was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz.

“Afghanistan is a member of the ICC. Our position was that we continue to help with the cricket programmes in the country, both men’s and women’s. We will continue to do that. Having said that, there are certain criteria any country needs to comply with to remain a member of the ICC,” he added.

Barclay also talked about the progress of women’s cricket as compared to men’s cricket. Geoff Allardice, the ICC CEO, also said that the upcoming 12 months will see a bit of progress in women’s cricket.