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Cricket-Paine says teams can refuse to play Afghanistan at T20 World Cup

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(Reuters) Australian captain Tim Paine said the odds of their first-ever test against Afghanistan going ahead don’t look good as the Taliban are unwilling to allow women to play cricket and wondered why the games governing body had remained silent on the matter.

Australia will face the Afghan men’s team in Hobart from November 27, but Cricket Australia said on Thursday they would not host the match if rumors that women’s cricket would not be supported in the country were justified.

Paine also stressed that international cricket councils are continuing to be silent as Afghanistan will participate in the Twenty20 World Cup, which starts on October 17 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

(The Hobart test) doesn’t look good, we are undoubtedly in a world of trouble there, but the reasoning around it is probably fair enough, Paine said on SEN radio.

There are probably two levels. There is the cricketing aspect from the point of view of the ICC that to be a test country you have to have an international women’s team, obviously with the Taliban right now banning women from playing any sport and that has implications on ICC level .

Second, from a women’s human rights point of view, it’s not allowed to exclude half of your population from trying anything.

I don’t think we want to be associated with countries that literally deprive half of their populations of things or opportunities.

Paine said he couldn’t see how Afghanistan can play in an ICC event under the current circumstances.

At this stage we have heard from Cricket Australia, we have heard from the Australian Government, we have heard from the Australian Cricketers Association, Paine said.

But so far we haven’t heard anything from the ICC, which I find fascinating, given that there is a T20 World Cup in a month’s time and Afghanistan is in it.

It will be interesting to see what happens in that space. Will the team be kicked out of the World Cup?

I imagine it will be impossible if teams withdraw to play against them and governments don’t let them travel to our shores how then such a team can be allowed to play in an ICC sanctioned event will be very very difficult to see.

(Reporting by Michael Church, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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