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IPL 2021 broadcast banned in Afghanistan due to possible anti-Islam content

The UAE leg of the IPL 2021 will not be telecast in Afghanistan, as has been the case in the past, due to possible ‘anti-islam contents’ that could be aired during the programming. Afghanistan, now under the control of the Taliban. The regime has banned most forms of entertainment — including many sports – and Women were completely banned from playing sport. Former Afghanistan Cricket Board media manager and journalist, M Ibrahim Momand, sent out a tweet stating that due to possible anti-islam content, girls dancing & the attendance of barred hair women in the Islamic Emirates of the Taliban, IPL broadcast is banned in the country.

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Even though the hardline Islamists have shown they do not mind men playing cricket, pulling together a match in the capital Kabul shortly after foreign forces withdrew, Bashir Ahmad Rustamzai, Afghanistan’s new director-general for sports, had last week declined to answer as to whether women will be allowed to play sports — deferring it for top-level Taliban leaders to decide. The takeover has called into question the future of Afghanistan’s participation in Test matches, as under International Cricket Council regulations, nations must also have an active women’s team.

Earlier, Australia’s cricket chiefs threatened to cancel a historic maiden Test between the two countries — set to take place in November — after a senior Taliban official went on television to say it was “not necessary” for women to play. During their first stint in power, before being ousted in 2001, the Taliban banned most forms of entertainment — including many sports — and stadiums were used as public execution venues. But the sport has become immensely popular over the past few decades, largely as a result of cricket-mad Pakistan across the border.

The Afghan men’s team is also scheduled to play the T20 World Cup from October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) last week urged Australia not to punish its men’s team, saying it was “powerless to change the culture and religious environment of Afghanistan”. ACB chairman Azizullah Fazli later told SBS Radio Pashto that he is still hopeful women will be able to play. He said that all 25 of the women’s team had chosen to remain in Afghanistan, although a BBC report earlier this month reported members were in hiding. News18

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