While cricket fans all over the world continue to enjoy the glitzy affair of the IPL, those in Afghanistan cannot watch the tournament.
According to various reports, the new Taliban regime has banned the broadcast of the IPL due to possible ‘anti-Islam contents’ that could be aired during the programming.
Afghanistan cricketers like Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman are taking part in IPL 2021 and have previously called for peace and progress, and donations to help those in need. All three turn out for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Former Afghanistan Cricket Board media manager and journalist, M Ibrahim Momand, sent out a tweet stating that due to possible anti-Islam content, girls dancing and the attendance of barred hair women in the Islamic Emirates of the Taliban, IPL broadcast is banned in the country.
"Ridiculous: Taliban have banned the broadcasting of Indian Premier League (IPL) in Afghanistan. Taliban have warned that Afghan media outlets should not broadcast the Indian Cricket League due to girls dancing and the presence of the female audience and spectators in stadiums," Afghanistan journalist, Fawad Aman, said in a tweet.
The UAE leg of the IPL began on 19 September with CSK defeating MI before KKR defeated Virat Kohli’s RCB. On Sunday Virat Kohli also announced that he would be stepping down from RCB captaincy after this season. The knockout stage of IPL 2021 is scheduled to begin on 10 October with the final slated to be held on 15 October.
After the IPL, Afghanistan’s men’s cricket team are slated to be part of the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. Rashid Khan, who had been appointed captain, stepped down immediately citing his displeasure with the way the administrators have worked. Afghanistan will face India and Pakistan in the group stage of the T20 World Cup.
Earlier, Bashir Ahmad Rustamzai, Afghanistan’s new director-general for sports, said that it was up to the top-level Taliban leadership to decide whether women would be allowed to play sports.
In an interview with the Australian broadcaster SBS, the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, said women’s sport was considered not necessary.
“I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket,” Wasiq said.
“In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this. It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate (Afghanistan) do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed.”
Earlier, it was also reported that the Taliban had sacked the executive director of the Afghanistan Cricket Board Hamid Shinwari, replacing him with Naseebullah Haqqani.
The Taliban’s takeover has also called into question the future of Afghanistan’s participation in Test matches, as ICC regulations, nations must also have an active women’s team. When Afghanistan were awarded Test status in 2017, however, there wasn’t a women’s cricket team.
Citing the ICC rule, Australia have said it would be unable to proceed with the planned Test at Hobart from 27 November if the Taliban opposed women’s cricket.
The ACB had, in response, said that it was “powerless to change the culture and religious environment of Afghanistan" and were hopeful that the Australian team would not to punish its men’s cricket team.
Afghanistan cricket board chairman chairman Azizullah Fazli was still hopeful that women will be able to play cricket, saying that all 25 of the women’s team had chosen to remain in the country.
However, a BBC report earlier this month stated that the team members were in hiding.
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