Afghanistan Women’s Cricket Team writes to ICC to recognize them as a refugee team in Australia

Afghanistan Women's Cricket Team

Seventeen former members of the Afghanistan Women’s Cricket Team have penned a heartfelt letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC), seeking assistance in establishing a refugee cricket team in Australia. These courageous women, who once represented Afghanistan before the Taliban’s takeover, now aspire to play together under a unified banner, transcending borders and adversity.

Afghanistan Women’s Cricket Team’s appeal to ICC

In their poignant appeal, the players acknowledged the political realities in Afghanistan, recognizing that the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and the ICC cannot officially recognize them as the national team due to government policies. Consequently, they have refrained from demanding to play under the ACB banner or be called the Afghan national team.

Instead, they propose a solution: to be administered by the East Asian Cricket office based at Cricket Australia as a refugee team. This arrangement would allow them to represent all Afghan women who dream of playing cricket but face insurmountable challenges within their homeland. Their plea comes at a time when Afghanistan’s men’s team has garnered global attention with their remarkable performance in the T20 World Cup, reaching the semi-finals.

The women’s cricketers expressed both pride and sadness. While they celebrated the men’s achievements, they lamented their own inability to represent their country. In 2020, the ACB had contracted 25 women players, envisioning a gradual progression of fixtures.

However, the Taliban’s takeover abruptly halted those plans, leaving women and girls banned from most public life, including sports. Many of these athletes sought refuge abroad, with a significant number now residing in Australia, the UK, and Canada. Despite playing at local clubs, they remain unformalized as a representative team.

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