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Afghanistan women call on ICC to form refugee team

The Afghanistan women’s team was created nine years after the Taliban regime fell at the hands of a US-led military coalition.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) initially barred the women’s team from playing at several international tournaments, saying it received “Taliban threats”.

But 25 female cricketers were handed contracts by the ACB in 2020, less than a year before the Taliban returned to power, ending any progress towards Afghanistan playing an official women’s international.

More than 20 Afghan women’s cricketers managed to leave the country and are currently living in Australia.

“We are asking the ICC to assist us in setting up a refugee team in Australia,” said the letter.

“Through this team we aim to represent all Afghan women who dream of playing cricket but are unable to in Afghanistan.

“Our goals in having a refugee team are to develop and showcase our talent, give hope to the women remaining in Afghanistan, and to draw attention to the challenges women of Afghanistan face.

“Like the Afghanistan men’s team are afforded, we aim to compete at the highest levels. We want to recruit and train girls and women who love cricket, to show the world the talent of Afghan women and to demonstrate the great victories they can achieve if given a chance through the leadership and financial support of the ICC.”

The ICC has been contacted for comment.

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