The joy of cricket being included at LA28 Games could be short-lived for Taliban governed Afghanistan, as their national Olympic Committee faces risk of suspension.
While the LA28 Olympics selection criteria in cricket have not been finalized, we know that it will be a 6-team competition for both men’s and women’s teams. Cricket was only included in the Olympic program in October after a 120-year absence. Afghanistan’s chances to play at the event have already been compromised.
As per a report in ESPNCricinfo, where the problem lies is, the LA28 organisers believe in gender equality, and the new regime in Afghanistan, the Taliban has forced the women’s cricket team in the country, to live in exile. Geoff Allardice, CEO of the ICC, said that the International Olympic Council and not the ICC is responsible for the participation of the war-torn country at LA28.
Allardice told BBC’s Stumped that “the National Olympic Committees (of those countries) field the Olympic Competition teams.” “As an international sports federation, our sport is positioned with the LA28 organisers to be included. Cricket has been included by both the IOC (and LA28).
“In terms of the position of the National Olympic Committee of Afghanistan, it’s probably something for the IOC to be able to address more accurately than me. I know the IOC has been monitoring the progress of the development there. “Our position on cricket, and supporting our member in Afghanistan, is not different from that of other international sporting organizations.”
In the report it is revealed that the IOC warned the Taliban their National Olympic Committee would be suspended if they did not promote women’s sports. Allardice then reminded everyone of the Afghanistan Cricket Board’s promise to develop women’s sport when they received full membership with ICC in 2017.
Allardice stated that the Afghanistan Cricket Board was in the process of achieving this goal until 2021. “And in 2021, there will be a change in the regime of the country. They will introduce new rules and laws which prohibit women from participating in sports in that country. We have spoken to the Afghanistan Cricket Board, and they believe that they must operate within the laws and rules of the country.