“Hard to see Afghanistan compete in the ICC T20 World Cup”- Tim Paine

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Australian Team captain Tim Paine has expressed his views over the participation of Afghanistan in the ICC T20 World Cup following the Taliban’s announcement of banning women from playing cricket. Paine’s statement comes in support of Cricket Australia’s warning to cancel the upcoming one-off Test they were set to host against Afghanistan after the Taliban made the announcement on women’s cricket.

Australia was set to host Afghanistan for their first-ever Test match against the team in Hobart later his year (November 27). However, with the concerns pertaining to the future of women’s sports in the country, they have threatened to call off the game.

Tim Paine said that owing to the current conditions, he finds it impossible to see the strife-torn nation participate in the ICC T20 World Cup.

“At this stage, we have heard from Cricket Australia, we’ve heard from the Australian government, we’ve heard from the Australian Cricketers Association,” Paine said on Australian radio station SEN.

While opining on the participation of Afghanistan in the showpiece event, the Australian skipper, who is appalled by the reaction of the International Cricket Council (ICC), said that he is surprised that the cricket governing body has said nothing on the matter with the tournament being only a month away.

“But as yet, we’ve heard nothing from the ICC, which I think is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in a month’s time and at the moment Afghanistan are in that.

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

“I imagine it will be impossible if teams are pulling out against playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores, then how a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see.”

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is all set to get rolling from October 17 in the UAE and Oman. Meanwhile, Rashid Khan stepped down from the role as captain of Afghanistan minutes after the team announced their squad for the tournament.

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