The Taliban, in another diktat that runs counter to its promise of being a moderate face, has banned the broadcast of the Indian Premier League (IPL) — the most lucrative and important cricket tournament in the world — in Afghanistan. The Taliban has warned the Afghanistan media outlets to not broadcast the UAE leg of Indian Cricket League (IPL) 2021 due to the presence of female audiences and spectators in stadia and the dancing involved.
“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 IPL 2021 is underway and two matches have been played between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Punjab Kings (PBKS) will take on Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the third game of the second phase on September 21. The knockout stage of IPL 2021 is scheduled to begin on October 10, with the final slated to be held on October 15.
The Taliban has stressed that women’s rights would be respected within the framework of Islam, but has been short on details or limits to it.
Last week, Afghanistan’s new sports chief said that the Taliban will allow 400 sports – but declined to confirm if women can play a single one. “Please don’t ask more questions about women,” Bashir Ahmad Rustamzai told news agency AFP.
In another chilling statement, a Taliban spokesman said women can’t be ministers, they should give birth.
“A woman can’t be a minister, it is like you put something on her neck that she can’t carry. It is not necessary for women to be in the cabinet – they should give birth. Women protesters can’t represent all women in Afghanistan,” spokesperson Sayed Zekrullah Hashimi told TOLO news.
Earlier this month, Taliban’s new higher education minister said Afghan women will be allowed to attend university as long as they study separately from men. The Taliban government is made up exclusively of men. The terrorist group has banned most forms of entertainment, including many sports.
Notably, the hardline Islamists have shown they do not mind men playing cricket by pulling together a match in the capital Kabul shortly after foreign forces withdrew.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia had earlier issued a statement, saying if the recent media allegations against the Taliban-led Islamist government in Afghanistan — that it will not support women’s cricket — were proved to be true, then Cricket Australia will not host the Afghanistan men’s team for the proposed Test match in Hobart.
During the extremists’ brutal and oppressive regime from 1996 to 2001, women were completely banned from playing any sport while men’s sport was tightly controlled. Women were also largely banned from education and work.
Many Afghan women and women’s rights activists globally fear a repeat of such policies after the group toppled the US-backed government last month.