London: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja, who is also a part of the International Cricket Council’s working group reviewing the state of the game in Afghanistan, said that like everyone else, ICC also understands their situation and hence giving them time, adding that although they are in a state of flux at the moment, the allotted funding to promote and support the game in the country won’t be stopped.
Having said that, Raja further added that the ICC will put pressure on Afghanistan to clarify its position on the ban of women’s cricket after the Taliban took control of the government in Kabul.
“Pressure will be put on Afghanistan. I’m sure they will have to decide in the next six months how they deal with the ICC,” Raja told Stumped on the BBC World Service.
It is an ICC requirement for full members to also have a national women’s team, besides the men’s side. But the return to Taliban rule has led to the prospect of women being forbidden to play cricket in Afghanistan.
“Like everybody else, we are giving them time. They are in a difficult situation,” said Raja.
Afghanistan is one of 12 full members of the ICC. Afghanistan’s men took part in the T20 World Cup that was played in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in October and November.
A few months back, Australia called off a men’s Test against Afghanistan that was scheduled for the end of November because of the uncertainty surrounding women’s cricket in the country.
“It’s a tough one for Afghanistan to answer right now. Things are still in a state of flux in Afghanistan,” said Raja, who played 57 Tests and 198 one-day internationals for Pakistan.
“Wait and watch is the policy of the world and that is the policy of the ICC.”
Raja said that for now, Afghanistan will continue to receive its allotted funding from the ICC.
“It was decided that Afghanistan cricket talent shouldn’t be hurt at all because they have some fabulous players, so all of their funding will continue,” he said.
“Albeit there will be more eyes watching how they spend that money.”
Raja also said that the PCB intends to start a women’s version of the Pakistan Super League.
(With PTI Inputs)